China is successfully continuing its space mission. On Sunday, June 5, three taikonauts (in Mandarin tàikōng – space) arrived on the Tianhe – a base module of the Chinese space station Tiangong. Here they will stay for six months and help prepare the station for the arrival of two more modules that will complete it.
The Shenzhou-14 spacecraft with Chinese astronauts on board took off from the Gobi Desert spaceport on Saturday at 10:44 a.m. local time. He docked at Tianhe at 5:42 p.m. local time. Its team included Chen Dong, Cai Xuzhe, and Liu Yang, the first Chinese woman astronaut in history. She first went into space in 2012 during the Shenzhou-9 mission.
Within 6 months in orbit, the taikonauts must go into space several times and prepare the station for the arrival of two laboratory modules. One of them, Ventian, is planned to launch next month. Another one, Mentian, will arrive at the station in October.
It is known that the two modules should join the Tianhe from opposite sides and form a T-shaped space station. It will be smaller than the ISS.
China plans to complete the station by the end of this year. At the same time, the current team plans to meet the crew of the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft. This will mean that for the first time 6 people will live at the station.