Africa-Press – Cape verde. The launch of China’s manned space mission Shenzhou-16 with three taikonauts on board to the Tiangong orbital station will take place on May 30, Deputy Director of the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) Lin Xiqiang said on Monday.
“The launch of Shenzhou-16 will take place on May 30 at 9:41 a.m. (01:31 GMT),” Lin said.
Jing Haipeng, for whom this will be a fourth mission after Shenzhou-7, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-11, will be the mission’s commander. Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao are also part of the crew, making their space debut. Gui will also by the first civilian taikonaut. Prior to this mission, only members of the Chinese armed forces took part in spaceflights.The other two taikonauts will carry out the direct control of the spaceship and experiments in orbit.
Shenzhou-16 is planned to dock with the core module of Tiangong, and its taikonauts will replace the crew members of the previous six-month Shenzhou-15 mission, which will be the second crew rotation in the station’s history. The crew Shenzhou-16 is scheduled to stay in orbit for about five months.
The Tiangong space station is China’s first long-term orbital station. It operates in low Earth orbit between 210 and 280 miles above the surface. Its first module, Tianhe, was launched in 2021.