China to Launch New Crew to Space Station on Sunday

Astronauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang. (Credit: CASC)

BEIJING (CASC PR) — On June 4, the press conference of the Shenzhou 14 manned flight mission announced that, after the research and decision of the General Headquarters of the space station phase flight mission, the aim was to use the Long March 2F carrier rocket to launch the Shenzhou 14 at 10:44 [02:44 UTC Sunday/10:44 p.m. EDT on Saturday] on June 5. The three astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe will carry out the Shenzhou 14 manned mission, with Chen Dong as the commander.

The various modules of the space station, manned spacecraft, cargo spacecraft, relay satellites, and the Long March series of launch vehicles used in our country’s space station project are all developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. Other sub-systems of the project are also developed by Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

At present, the Tianhe core module and the combination of Tianzhou-3 and Tianzhou-4 are working normally, and they have the conditions for rendezvous and docking and astronaut stationing.

Astronaut Chen Dong has performed the Shenzhou 11 manned mission, astronaut Liu Yang has performed the Shenzhou 9 manned mission, astronaut Cai Xuzhe is the first flight, and the three astronauts are the second batch of astronauts in my country.

The Shenzhou 14 manned mission is the second mission in the construction phase of the space station and the first manned mission in this phase. The astronaut crew will work and live in orbit for 6 months. The main purposes of the mission are:

  • Cooperate with the rendezvous and repositioning of the Wentian experimental module, the Mengtian experimental module and the core module to complete the on-orbit assembly and construction of the Chinese space station;
  • Complete the installation and commissioning of equipment inside and outside the space station and related facilities and equipment for space application tasks;
  • Carry out space science experiments and technical experiments;
  • Carry out daily maintenance and other related work.

According to the plan, after the Shenzhou 14 manned spacecraft enters orbit, it will adopt an independent rapid rendezvous and docking mode, docking at the radial port of the Tianhe core module, and forming with the Tianhe core module and the Tianzhou-3 and Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft. combination.

During the Shenzhou 14 mission, the construction of a space station with Tianhe core module, Wentian experimental module and Mengtian experimental module as the basic configuration will be fully completed, and a national space laboratory will be built.

The flight crew of Shenzhou 14 will use the airlock in the Wentian experimental cabin for the first time to carry out two or three out-of-cabin activities, and will continue to carry out the Tiangong classroom.

During the stay in orbit, the three astronauts of the Shenzhou 14 flight crew will welcome the visit and docking of the two experimental modules of the space station, as well as the Tianzhou 5 cargo spacecraft and the Shenzhou 15 manned spacecraft, and connect with the Shenzhou 15 spacecraft. The flight crew performed on-orbit rotations and returned to the Dongfeng landing site in December.

The crew of the Shenzhou 14 astronauts are the second batch of astronauts in my country and can be said to be the youngest crew on average since the space station mission.

At the meeting between the astronauts and the reporters, Chen Dong said: “The Shenzhou 14 mission is a key step in the construction phase of my country’s space station. The task is heavier, the problems are more difficult, and the challenges are greater, but I firmly believe that with the great efforts of the people of the country, Support, with the escort of all scientific researchers, and scientific and solid training preparations, our crew will definitely complete the task with full confidence, enthusiasm, and performance, and ensure precision with precision, and exchange for excellence with meticulousness .”

Liu Yang said: “In June 2012, I entered space on behalf of Chinese women. At that time, I was extremely happy, excited and excited. When I left Tiangong-1, I gave her a solemn military salute and firmly expressed my gratitude to her. I said to myself that in the near future, I will definitely come back. I will always have mountains and seas in my heart, stars in my eyes, always keep my original intention, and write the glory of the motherland in space again and again. “

Cai Xuzhe said: “We get along day and night, fight side by side, and have experienced 12 years of study and training together. Especially after being selected as the flight crew, we understand each other, support each other, and cooperate with each other. Today, whether it is technical, psychological, or physical , we are fully prepared. We have always been a community of mission, responsibility and honor. We have the confidence and determination to resolutely complete the task, live up to the great new era, and live up to the great trust of the party and the people.”