Monday, May 29, 2023

China's Shenzhou-16 Mission & Crew | China Space Station

China's Shenzhou-16 Mission & Crew | China Space Station

A Long March-2F carrier rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft with three astronauts on board, successfully blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Tuesday morning, May 30, 2023.

The Shenzhou-16 manned mission, the first since the China Space Station entered its application and development stage, will conduct a fast automated rendezvous in orbit and dock at the radial port of the Tianhe core module, forming a combination of three modules and three spaceships. China unveiled its crew members for the Shenzhou-16 spaceflight mission on Monday, May 29, 2023 with the astronauts meeting the press a day before their scheduled launch. 

Taikonauts Jing Haipeng (Commander), Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao will carry out the mission to the China Space Station (CSS), the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced at the press conference. Gui Haichao makes history as China's first civilian astronaut and payload specialist.

Gui Haichao, born in November 1986, was also selected as a member of China's third batch of astronauts in 2020, serving as a payload specialist.

"The word 'astronaut' was sacred and far from me in the past, and I've been dreaming of moving my research work into space one day," he said. "I didn't hesitate to sign up when I learned in 2018 that the country was about to select payload specialists."

With Gui's arrival, the China Space Station will welcome its first payload specialist.

The Shenzhou-15 crew will return to north China's Dongfeng landing site after completing an in-orbit rotation mission with the Shenzhou-16 crew.

Credit: China Global Television Network (CGTN)

Release Date: May 29, 2023

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