Shenzhou 13 spacecraft successfully docked with the Chinese space station

BEIJING, ($1=6.44 Chinese Yuans) – The Chinese manned spacecraft “Shenzhou-13”, successfully docked with the base module being created by the national space station on Saturday, learned, citing the PRC Manned Mission Program Administration [CMSA] statement.

 Shenzhou 13 spacecraft successfully docked with the Chinese space station
Crew members of the Shenzhou XIII spacecraft, Major General Zhai Zhigang (right), Senior Colonel Wang Yaping (center) and Senior Colonel Ye Guangfu. Photo credit: China Daily

Docking was carried out 6.5 hours after launch, around 06:56 Beijing time [06:56 p.m. EDT].

The spacecraft was launched using the Changzheng-2F [Long March 2F] launch vehicle from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Cosmodrome in Gansu province in northwestern China on Saturday at 00:23 Beijing time.

The spacecraft automatically approached and docked with the main module Tianhe of the Chinese space station and formed an orbital complex with it and the previously docked cargo ships Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3.

The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft delivered a crew of three taikonauts (the Chinese name for cosmonauts is IF) to the Tianhe base module of the Chinese Tiangong space station, including one woman. They are the commander of the spacecraft Zhai Zhigang, the female taikonaut Wang Yaping, and the taikonaut Ye Guangfu, for whom this will be the first flight into space. The crew will operate in orbit for six months. This will be the longest space flight in the history of the PRC.

In China, this is already the 21st flight of a spacecraft with taikonauts since the beginning of the manned space flight program, as well as the second manned mission to the space station under construction.

During their stay in orbit, the taikonauts will perform 2-3 spacewalks. They will also carry out several scientific studies.

The Tianhe module was launched into orbit in April. From June 17 to September 16, three taikonauts who arrived on the Shenzhou-12 ship were already working at the station. During a three-month stay, they conducted various experiments, installed and adjusted the onboard equipment, and twice went into open space for installation work.

The creation of a full-fledged orbital station should be completed in 2022.


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