China has successfully launched the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft carrying three Chinese astronauts to the new Chinese Space Station using the Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center today at 09:22AM local time on Thursday morning.
The Shenzhou-12 Spacecraft carries Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo to the Tianhe core module of the new Chinese Space Station launched in April 2021.
Update: Shenzhou-12 spacecraft docked with the Chinese space station after 6 hours and 32 minutes of its launch from Jiuquan Launch Center.
As per the eleven planned mission during the construction phase of the new space station the astronauts will stay in Tianhe for three months that contains living quarters for the crew. The planned mission includes two more modules, several more cargo and crewed missions before the space station is completed in 2022.
This crewed launch mission is the first crewed launch mission from China since Shenzhou-11 launched in 2016 that carried three astronauts to Tiangong-2 (previous Chinese Space Station) that deorbited in 2019.
China’s success in the space missions has been on a significant pace as part of China’s ambitious space program that has carried successful sample return mission from Moon in 2020, landing a rover on Mars in its first attempt this year.
China has also announced a long term plan with Russia to build an International Lunar Research Station that includes human landing on the moon in the next decade.