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:
- novel quantum phenomena,
- high-precision space time-frequency systems,
- the verification of general relativity, and
- 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.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB