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China has sent new astronauts to the Tiangong Space Station for a mission change. China’s fourth taikonaut team reached its goal.

In the statement made by the China Manned Space Program Agency (CMSA), it was reported that the Shenzhou-15 space shuttle, carrying the taikonauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, docked with the core module of the space station.

Shenzhou-15 was launched yesterday from the Jiuquan Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on the “Long March-2F Y15” carrier rocket.

The Taikonauts will hand over the mission in orbit for the first time with the three-person crew still on the station. The taikonaut team will serve for six months at the Tiangong (Palace in the Sky) Space Station and will carry out the integration of two laboratory modules and their equipment. Fei, 57, who took command of the expedition, joined the Shenzhou-6 mission, China’s second manned spaceflight, in 2005.

Taikonauts Deng and Zhang take part in a manned space mission for the first time.


China is working to establish its own space station, as the United States forbids cooperation in the field of space exploration and prevents China’s participation in the International Space Station (ISS) program.

The Tiengong Station will be approximately the same size as Russia’s now-defunct Mir Space Station when completed. It will consist of a core module, two laboratory modules, and a space telescope.

The main part of the station, the core module called “Tianhe” (Harmony of the Heavens), was launched on April 29, 2021; the first laboratory module, “Wentian” (Quest for the Heavens), on July 24, and the second laboratory module, “Mengtian” (Dreaming of the Heavens), on October 31.

The station’s T-shaped frame is complete after the addition of laboratory modules to the core module. After the main skeleton is built, the space telescope called “Xuntian” (Touring the Heavens) is planned to be added to the station as a separate module.

A three-person taikonaut team rotates at the station. The assembly of the space station is planned to be completed by the end of 2022.

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