Wednesday, April 17, 2024

China Shenzhou-18 Crew Rocket Moved to Launchpad | China Space Station

China Shenzhou-18 Crew Rocket Moved to Launchpad | China Space Station

The combination of the Shenzhou-18 spaceship and a Long March-2F Y18 carrier rocket has been vertically transferred to the launching area at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Wednesday morning, April 17, 2024. Shenzhou-18 will transport the seventh crew of three astronauts to the China Space Station and replace the Shenzhou-17 crew currently onboard.

Weighing over 40 tons, with a total height of nearly 60 meters, the combination has four support points distributed along the circumference of the rocket's core stage that measures only 3.35 meters in diameter. The total weight of the combination and the launch platform is nearly 800 tons.

According to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), the facilities and equipment at the launch site are in good condition, and various pre-launch function checks and joint tests will be carried out as planned. The manned spaceship will be launched at an appropriate time in the near future, said the CMSA.

Shenzhou-17 Crew:

Hongbo Tang (Commander)

Shengjie Tang (Mission Specialist)

Xinlin Jiang (Mission Specialist)

The Shenzhou-18 crew members will be announced shortly before launch.

"This will be the first manned mission conducted in April since we started building the space station. Considering the characteristics of high winds and dust during this season, we have conducted statistical analysis of meteorological data over the past 30 years in the launch site, and formulated targeted preventive measures and response strategies. Meanwhile, we have updated power supply system of certain facilities, strengthened equipment operation assessments and status checks, and organized interdisciplinary collaborative training and emergency drills. We have also improved the comprehensive situational awareness and critical information collection and dissemination capabilities of the launch site, optimized our product testing projects and timing, therefore, further improving the site's ability to handle continuous missions," said Wang Xuewu, deputy director of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Video Credit: CCTV Video News Agency

Duration: 1 minute, 54 seconds

Release Date: April 17, 2024

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