China’s Shenzhou-12 Manned Mission

#GS3 Science and Technology

News info:

  • Recently, a Chinese spaceship “Shenzhou-12” carrying a three-person crew docked with China’s new space platform module called Tianhe-1.
  • This has come after the launch of the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, which carried vital supplies for the space platform.


About the Mission:

  • The Shenzhou-12 craft connected with the Tianhe space platform module about six hours after takeoff from the Jiuquan launch center in Gobi.
  • The three-man crew will spend three months on the Tianhe module, which is orbiting at some 340km to 380km above the world.
  • China is that the third country after the previous Soviet Union and therefore the US to hold out a manned mission on its own.
  • This is the primary of two manned space missions planned for this year, a part of an intense schedule of launches aimed toward completing the Chinese space platform in 2022.
  • At least five more missions are planned for the year, with the Shenzhou-13 manned mission, also carrying three astronauts, set for later this year.
  • The three astronauts are the primary ones to require up residency within the main living module and can perform experiments, equipment, conduct maintenance, and prepare the station for receiving two laboratory modules next year.
  • It was China’s seventh crewed mission to space but marked a variety of firsts for the country – the primary manned one during the development of China’s space platform, the primary in nearly five years after the country’s last manned mission in 2016, and China’s longest crewed space mission so far.

Purpose of the Mission:

It will help test technologies associated with long-term astronaut stays and health care, the recycling and life network, the availability of space materials, extravehicular activities and operations, and in-orbit maintenance.

China’s Space Station:

  • China isn't a participant within the International space platform (ISS), largely as a result of US objections to the Chinese program's secrecy and shut military ties.
  • The ISS may be a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA (United States), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and b (Canada).
  • However, China has been stepping up cooperation with Russia and a number of other countries, and its station may continue operating beyond the ISS, which is reaching the top of its functional life.

Other Recent Space Missions of China:

China's Mars Probe:

  • In May 2021 China’s Tianwen spacecraft landed on Mars carrying a rover, the Zhurong.
  • It will conduct scientific investigations into the planet’s soil, geological structure, environment, atmosphere, and water.

China’s Moon Probe:

  • In November 2020, Chang’e-5 mission landed on the moon’s less explored far side and brought back the primary lunar samples by any country’s program since the 1970s.
  • China and Russia have also unveiled an ambitious plan for a joint International Lunar Research Station running through 2036. that would compete and possibly conflict with the Multinational Artemis Accords (MAA).
  • MAA may be a blueprint for space cooperation that supports NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon by 2024 and to launch a historic human mission to Mars.

Source: The Hindu

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