For the first time in five years, China has sent humans into space. On Thursday, the country launched three astronauts into space, pushing it a step closer to completing its space station.
The astronauts will be in space for three months. During this time, two astronauts will conduct two long-duration spacewalks. And after this mission, another three crewed spacecrafts and two laboratory modules will be sent to the space station, with the aim of completing its construction by the end of 2022.
According to CCN, one of the chief designers on the space program, Huang Weifen said the possibility of issues arising is high. “The possibility of various problems is quite high. So for the astronauts, emergency decision-making and troubleshooting capabilities are also very high requirements,” said Huang.
However, he said that during the mission the crew will be using new spacewalk suits as well as a new spacecraft.
The Shenzhou-12 mission is the first crewed mission and the third launch of a total of 11 launches for China’s space station construction.
The three-man crew is led by Nie Haisheng, the oldest member of the team and a former fighter pilot with the People’s Liberation Army.