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Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Time: 3:08 PM (UTC +0)
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This goes

to space

Shenzhou

This is China’s first and current human spacecraft.

Based heavily on Russia’s Soyuz, Shenzhou uses Soyuz parts for its life support and docking systems.

The spacecraft can carry three taikonauts to low Earth orbit and to Chinese space stations.

Shenzhou made China the third and most recent country, behind the Soviet Union/Russia and the United States, to build a spacecraft that can launch and land its own crew.

Its first flight, an uncrewed test, took place on November 19th, 1999. The first crewed flight was Shenzhou 5 which carried one taikonaut to space on October 15th, 2003.

The spacecraft has three main parts: the Orbital, Reentry, and Service modules.

The reentry module carries the crew for launch and landing and is the central part of Shenzhou. The reentry module is the only part built to survive reentry.

Shenzhou will eventually be replaced with China’s next generation of crew spacecraft currently being built and tested.

Asteroid 8256 Shenzhou and the U.S.S. Shenzhou in Star Trek: Discovery are both named for the spacecraft.

Photo credit: China National Space Administration/Supercluster

On this

rocket

Chang Zheng 2F

The Chang Zheng 2F is China’s first rocket built to carry humans.

Its nickname, Shenjian, means “Divine Arrow.”

The rocket is a heavily modified version of the Chang Zheng 2E. China added redundant systems to help improve safety and changed parts of the rocket to be able to fly with a launch escape system.

At liftoff, the first stage is helped by four boosters bolted to its side. A second stage then places Shenzhou into a low Earth orbit.

It uses two highly toxic propellants, nitrogen tetroxide and unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine.

The rocket will eventually be replaced by the now-flying Chang Zheng 7 rocket, which uses non-toxic propellant and launches over the open ocean.

Chang Zheng 2F has never suffered a launch failure.

Photo credit: China National Space Administration

From this

launch site

SLS-1, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China
November 29, 2022

South Launch Site 1 (SLS-1) is located within Launch Area 4 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The pad is only used to launch the Chang Zheng 2F rocket and is the only place in China that can launch humans to space.

The rocket is stacked and prepared for launch in a large, vertical building nearby before being rolled out to the launch pad.

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

Also called the Shuangchengzi Missile Test Center, Jiuquan was the first of China’s four space centers.

Located in the desert, the area was first chosen in 1958 for its remote location and military nature.

This means that rockets launched from Jiuquan must fly over land and populated areas on their way to space.

Jiuquan was the site of China’s first satellite launch in 1970 and China’s first private orbital launch in July 2019.

Photo credit: China National Space Administration

And docks

here

Tiangong Space Station

This is the Tiangong Space Station, China's large, in-space construction project that will take two years to complete.

The station will have three modules for a crew of three to live and work and will have three sets of solar arrays for power.

It will be one-fifth the size of the International Space Station when complete and about the same size as the former Mir space station.

Construction began with the launch of the Tianhe module on April 29th, 2021.

A second module, Wentian, is planned to launch in July 2022, followed by the Mengtian module in October 2022.

Tiangong is in a 41-degree orbit, meaning it travels as far North as 41 degrees and as far South as 41 degrees latitude when seen from the ground.

It is designed to operate for at least 10 years.

Picture: China Manned Space Engineering Office

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