Three Chinese astronauts arrived at the Tiangong space station on Wednesday, reports the Xinhua


Agency .

The trio took off aboard a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Space Center in the Gobi Desert, according to information from the Chinese Space Agency for Human Spaceflight (CMSA).

The taikonauts will stay six months in space.

The spacecraft for this mission, Shenzhou-15, successfully docked with the station.

The trio then joined three other astronauts who have been aboard the Tiangong space station since early June.

The ShenZhou-15 spacecraft was successfully sent into the designated orbit after the blastoff at 23:08 pm at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, carried by a Long March-2F rocket.

This mission will send three taikonauts to the China Space Station.🚀

— ShanghaiPanda (@thinking_panda) November 29, 2022

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A return scheduled for May 2023

The mission's main objectives were to "achieve the first crew transfer to orbit", "install equipment and facilities inside and outside the space station" and "perform scientific experiments", a said the CMSA spokesperson.

The crew will return to Earth next May.

The Tiangong Space Station is the crown jewel of Beijing's ambitious space program.

China has landed robots on Mars and the Moon and has become the third country to put humans in orbit.

The State has been investing billions of euros in its space program for several decades to catch up with the United States and Russia.

Spatial independence

Tiangong's last module successfully docked with the main structure in early November, a key milestone for its completion by the end of 2022. China has been pushed to build its own station due to the refusal of the United States. United to allow it to participate in the International Space Station (ISS).

When completed, Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”) should have a mass of 90 tons (a quarter of the ISS).

The space station will operate for about ten years and will host various near-zero gravity experiments.

In 2023, Beijing plans to launch the Xuntian Space Telescope, which has a field of view 350 times greater than that of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.


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