China Plans 6 Space Missions in 2022 to Complete National Orbital Station - Space Agency
12:00 GMT 17.04.2022 (Updated: 16:57 GMT 12.04.2023)
© AP Photo / Ng Han GuanThe Shenzhou-12 spacecraft sits covered on a launch pad near Chinese characters reading "Launch" at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, China on Wednesday, June 16, 2021
© AP Photo / Ng Han Guan
BEIJING (Sputnik) - China has scheduled six space missions by the end of 2022 to complete the construction of the national space station Tiangong, the director of China’s Manned Space Engineering Office, Hao Chun, said on Sunday.
"According to the plan, we will have six missions in 2022 to complete the national orbital space station," Hao was quoted as saying by the state-owned broadcaster China Central Television.
The launches of rockets carrying modules and other equipment for the space station are scheduled for May, June, July, and October of this year, the official said.
China began the construction of its first long-term modular orbital station on 29 April 2021, when the Tianhe core module was successfully launched into orbit. The station will consist of two additional laboratory modules, Wentian and Mengtian, which are expected to be launched this year. The station will accommodate three crew members of regular missions and six when new crews arrive.
The core Tianhe module is the largest spacecraft ever built in China, providing living quarters, navigation and controls of the station. The main module is equipped with two docking ports for Wentian and Mengtian modules and three other docking ports for manned and cargo spacecraft.
On Saturday, the Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft successfully landed in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China. Three astronauts returned to Earth after spending 183 days on board the Tiangong station, marking the country’s longest space mission to date.