Wednesday, April 24, 2024

China's Shenzhou-18 Crew: Official Photos | China Space Station

China's Shenzhou-18 Crew: Official Photos | China Space Station

From left to right: Astronauts Li Guangsu, Ye Guangfu (commander) & Li Cong
Ye Guangfu (commander)
Li Cong (mission specialist)
Li Guangsu (mission specialist)
Shenzhou-18 Mission Emblem

Ye Guangfu, Li Cong, and Li Guangsu, the three Chinese astronauts for the upcoming Shenzhou-18 spaceflight mission to the China Space Station, were introduced to the world on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Their Shenzhou-18 crewed spaceship is scheduled to lift off at 20:59 Thursday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced.

Shenzhou-18 Crew

Ye Guangfu (commander)

Li Cong

Li Guangsu

"As evaluated and decided by the mission headquarters, the Shenzhou-18 spaceship is scheduled to be launched at 20:59 on April 25 Beijing Time. Crew members are astronauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu, with Ye Guangfu as the mission commander. Astronaut Ye Guangfu has participated in the Shenzhou-13 manned space flight mission, while Li Cong and Li Guangsu are among the country's third batch of astronauts and will carry out a space flight for the first time," said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA.

After reaching the space station, the trio will be greeted by the Shenzhou-17 crew currently aboard the Tiangong space station. The Shenzhou-17 crew has been on the space station since Oct 26 last year and will return to Earth after completing in-orbit rotation.

The upcoming mission marks China's 13th manned spaceflight mission since the launch of the manned space program and represents the first manned mission to the space station this year.

China's Tiangong space station will continue its normal operation, with plans outlined for two cargo spacecraft missions and two manned spaceflight missions in 2024. The Tianzhou-7 cargo supply mission was successfully completed in January this year.

The Shenzhou-18 spaceship, sitting atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was transferred to the launching area on April 17, with pre-launch function checks and joint tests conducted to ensure the spaceship's readiness.

Image Credit: China Manned Space Agency (CMSA)

Release Date: April 24, 2024

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