China launched new crew for space station, sending men to moon before 2030

China launched a new crew space station intending to put astronauts on the moon before the end of the decade. The crew will stay aboard the station for five months.

Twitter: @ChinaMissionVie

Twitter: @ChinaMissionVie

Sudeep Singh Rawat New Delhi

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China recently launched a three-person crew for its orbiting space station on Tuesday with an eye to putting astronauts on the moon before the end of the decade, reported the Associated Press.

The Associated Press, in its latest report published on May 30, also mentioned that the Shenzhou 16 spacecraft lifted off from the Jiuquan launch center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China atop a Long March 2-F rocket just after 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) Tuesday.

The three-member crew, including China's first civilian astronauts, will be aboard the Tiangong station and return to Earth after completing their six-month mission.

A third module was added to the station in November last year. On Monday, China's space program official said that they have plans to expand it together with launching the crewed mission to the moon before the end of the decade, reported AP.

The Associated Press further reported that after its exclusion from the International Space Agency due to US concerns over China's space program's intimate ties with the People’s Liberation Army, China built its own space station.

China is the third country after the Soviet Union and the US to send a person into space under its own resources in 2003.

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On its latest Space mission, payload expert Gui Haichao, a professor at Beijing’s top aerospace research institute, will join mission commander Maj. Gen. Jing Haipeng, who is making his fourth flight to space, and spacecraft engineer Zhu Yangzhu, AP news reported.

The crew will conduct scientific experiments and regular maintenance during their five-month stay in the station.

The mission comes against the rivalry with the US for reaching new milestones in space.

China's Manned Space Agency also announced recently that it will send its first civilian astronaut into space as part of the crewed Shenzhou XVI mission to the Tiangong space station today. 

First Published: May 30 2023 | 12:02 PM IST

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