Shenzhou 13 launch first long-duration Chinese Space Station crew

After a successful launch to the new Chinese Space Station earlier this year and the initial 90-day “shakedown cruise” of the Shenzhou 12 crew, three taikonauts launched to the station aboard the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft to begin the first long-duration stay aboard. Shenzhou 13 launched atop a Chang Zheng 2F (CZ-2F) rocket at 16:23 UTC (00:23 local time on Saturday), from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, in north-central China. Shenzhou 13 is the eighth crewed flight of China’s space program, flown by the three taikonauts who were previously named as the backup crew for Shenzhou 12. They include Wang Yaping, who will be the first woman to reside aboard the new space station.  Yaping previously flew aboard Shenzhou 10, becoming the second Chinese woman to fly in space, and is a colonel in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force. Zhai Zhigang, commanding the mission, is a major general in the People’s Liberation Army and previously flew aboard Shenzhou 7, becoming the first Chinese taikonaut to conduct a spacewalk. Ye Guangfu, a PLAAF pilot and first-time space flier, was selected for the program in 2010. Shenzhou 13 crew (left to right): Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigagn and Wang…

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Shenzhou 13 launch first long-duration Chinese Space Station crew

Updated: October 15, 2021 — 10:26 am