Science & Tech

Shenzhou-16 successfully launches into space with three astronauts

China has successfully launched the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft, which is carrying three astronauts to the Tiangong space station.

What exactly is Shenzhou-16?

  • The Shenzhou-16 spacecraft was meant to transfer people to the Tiangong space station as part of China’s manned spaceflight missions.
  • This mission is a significant step forward in China’s space research endeavours, with the crew planning a variety of tests and experiments over their five-month stay.
  • The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) operates the Tiangong space station, which is a key part of China’s ambitious space programme and seeks to be a scientific research hub.

Shenzhou-16 astronauts

  • The Shenzhou-16 mission crew comprises of three astronauts: Jing Haipeng, the mission’s main commander, Zhu Yangzhu, and Gui Haichao.
  • Jing Haipeng is a veteran spacecraft pilot who was part of China’s first batch of astronaut trainees.
  • Zhu Yangzhu, a former university teacher and postdoctoral researcher in aerodynamics, will work as a spaceflight engineer.
  • Gui Haichao is the first Chinese civilian to travel to space and will be in charge of science experiments on the space station.

The Mission’s Objectives

  • The Shenzhou-16 crew will replace the Shenzhou-15 crew, who have been aboard the Tiangong space station since November.
  • The new crew will conduct large-scale testing and experiments in a variety of domains, including quantum phenomena, high-precision space time-frequency systems, general relativity verification, and the origin of life.
  • During the crew’s five-month stay, these scientific endeavours are expected to yield important results.

Concerning the Tiangong Space Station

  • China created the Tiangong space station, which is operated by the CMSA, after being prevented from partnering with NASA owing to espionage concerns.
  • The first module of the station was launched into orbit in 2021, followed by two more modules.
  • The long-term goal of China is to expand the station, with the next module docking and forming a cross-shaped structure.
  • After the International Space Station’s operations complete in 2030, the Tiangong space station seeks to become a prominent outpost for scientific research. 
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.