China Successfully Launches Shenzhou-17 Manned Spacecraft to Own Space Station
© AP Photo / Andy WongA Long March rocket carrying a crew of Chinese astronauts in a Shenzhou-17 spaceship lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023.
© AP Photo / Andy Wong
BEIJING (Sputnik) - By the end of 2023, China aims to break last year's national record for the number of space launches, 64, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced in January.
China launched the Shenzhou-17 manned spacecraft carrying a three-member crew to the Tiangong space station on Thursday from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the country's north-central Gansu province, according to a broadcast by the state-run China Central Television.
The launch took place as planned at 11:14 a.m. local time (03:14 GMT) with the Long March 2F carrier rocket. The crew includes cosmonauts Tang Shengjie, Jiang Xinlin and Tang Hongbo, the latter being the team's commander. The crew of the Shenzhou-17 spacecraft will be the sixth on the Chinese space station, where they are expected to work for six months.
The crew will replace the cosmonauts of the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft who have been on board the Chinese orbital station since May 30, Deputy Director of the China Manned Space Agency Lin Xiqiang has said.
The Tiangong space station is China's first long-term orbital station. It operates in low Earth orbit between 210 and 280 miles above the surface. Its first module, Tianhe, was launched in 2021.
By the end of 2023, China aims to break last year's national record for the number of space launches, 64, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced in January.