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China sent team of astronauts to complete the construction work of the space station

Beijing/Jiuquan, June 5 (agency)

China on Sunday successfully sent a crew of three astronauts into space on a six-month mission to complete the construction work of its orbiting space station. The Shenzhou-14 spacecraft, accompanied by astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Kai Shuzhe, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Minutes later, officials from the control room on Earth declared the mission a success and reported that the spacecraft had reached its designated orbit. The three astronauts will collaborate with the ground team to complete the construction of the Tiangong space station. It will be developed from a single-module structure into a three-module National Space Laboratory, with the main (core) module being Tianhe and two laboratory modules – Wentian and Mengtian. The launch was broadcast live across the country. Lin Shiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), announced on Saturday that the mission will transform the space station into a national space observatory.

Astronauts have been sent for the second time to build the space station. Earlier, three Chinese astronauts returned safely to Earth in April after spending a record six months aboard the country’s new space station. They built important parts of the space station there. The station is expected to be ready by this year. The main module of the space station was launched in April 2021. Once it is ready, China will become the only country to have its own space station. Russia’s International Space Station (ISS) is a collaborative project of several countries. The China Space Station (CSS) is believed to be a rival to Russia’s ISS. Observers say CSS could become the only space station in orbit in the coming years after the ISS ceases to function.

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