China successfully launches longest manned space mission-Prelims 2017

  • China today successfully launched a spacecraft carrying two astronauts, in its longest-ever manned space mission, who would later join its experimental space lab orbiting the Earth as the country moved a step closer to establish its permanent space station by 2022. The ‘Shenzhou-11’ spacecraft was put into orbit by a Long March-2F carrier rocket after the launch. It was launched into space at 7:30 am local time (that is, 5 A.M. IST) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre near the Gobi Desert in northwest China.
  • Wu Ping, Deputy Director of China’s manned space engineering office said that the spacecraft will dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 in two days and the astronauts will stay in the lab for 30 days.
  • President Xi Jinping, who is presently in Goa to attend the BRICS Summit, congratulated everyone, saying it is a milestone in China’s space programme.
  • Premier Li Keqiang and Liu Yunshan, both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, watched the live broadcast of the launch at the command centre of China’s manned space programme in Beijing.
  • The space lab was launched last month as part of China’s efforts to set up its own manned space station by 2022, which will make it the only the country to have such a facility in service as the present in-service International Space Station retires by 2024.

Source: Newsonair

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