China launched a spacecraft – Shenzou-16 carrying three astronauts, including its first civilian, to its Tiangong space station.

  • The three astronauts will replace the crew of Shenzhou-15 aboard the Tiangong space station.
  • The new crew will stay there for the next five months.
  • It will carry out “large-scale in-orbit tests and experiments in various fields as planned.

They are expected to make high-level scientific achievements in the study of:

  1. novel quantum phenomena,
  2. high-precision space time-frequency systems,
  3. the verification of general relativity, and
  4. the origin of life.

The Tiangong space station

  • It is operated by China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
  • It was built by China after the USA barred NASA from working with China, citing a high risk of espionage.
  • The permanently inhabited space station’s first module entered orbit in 2021 and two more modules were added to it in the following years.
  • It is expected to become the sole in-orbit outpost for scientific research after the end of operations for the International Space Station in 2030.
  • China has also invited other countries and companies to collaborate and carry out experiments at its space station.


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