China successfully launched the Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship, sending three astronauts, including the first civilian to its space station combination for a five-month mission.
About Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship
- The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.
- The astronauts are expected to dock with the station’s Tianhe core module about 400km above the ground – after a journey of less than seven hours.
- For the first time, China has included a civilian in its rotating crew for the space station which otherwise remained a domain of the military personnel.
- Once ready, China will be the only country to own a space station as the International Space Station (ISS) of Russia is a collaborative project of several countries.
- The ISS station is also set to be decommissioned by 2030.
- The significant feature of China’s space station is its two robotic arms, especially the long one which has the ability to grab objects, including satellites from space.
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