China space program is in fairly advanced stage. Shenzhou 9 is bigger success than NASA and Spacex’s Dragon capsule. Meanwhile first Chinese woman enters China’s pace station module
China has moved one step closer in building its own space station sending three astronauts, including a woman to the space on Monday, 18, June 2012. In a surprising move, the country made its first manned docking mission, which will be a great step in its dream project to build own space station in next eight years. What is more exciting with the mission is the inclusion of Liu Yang, the first Chinese woman astronaut to land in the space. Global media has widely covered the presence of a woman astronaut in the space mission of China.
The space mission took three astronauts to a prototype space lab, which is a milestone to China’s own space station project. China launched the space lab in 2011 as a major move toward setting up a larger and permanent space station by 2020. The astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang besides Liu, started their voyage from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert. The Long March rocket took the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which carried the astronauts into the space.
As per reports, the astronauts safely docked the prototype space lab, called the Tiangong 1. “The trio entered the Tiangong 1 laboratory module around three hours after it linked up with their spacecraft, the Shenzhou 9, led by their commander, Jing Haipeng,” says the Guardian. Chinese television covered the docking. The astronauts are expected to work in the lab for around a week.
As per reports, the astronauts safely docked the prototype space lab, called the Tiangong 1. “The trio entered the Tiangong 1 laboratory module around three hours after it linked up with their spacecraft, the Shenzhou 9, led by their commander, Jing Haipeng,” says the Guardian. The astronauts are expected to work in the lab for around a week. Two astronauts will work inside the module, while the third astronaut will remain in the capsule to meet with unexpected conditions. The major assignment of the astronauts is to test the lab’s life-support systems.
The first Chinese woman astronaut in space
Of course, what is more attractive with the Chinese space mission is the presence of Liu onboard. Liu, a 33-year old fighter pilot, is an inexperienced space scientist as she started her practice as an astronaut only a couple of years back. “Despite starting her training late, she is now on the same page as us, which exceeded our expectations,” says Jing. Liu, being a child, wanted to a bus conductor. But later she became a member of air force and has been showing special interest toward space programs.
Before Liu, more than 50 women have flied into space. After the U.S. and Russia, China is only the third country to send a woman into the space. By the way, the first lady into the space was Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union in 1963. NASA sent the first woman Sally Ride into the space in 1983. Now China can be proud of becoming another country to take a woman astronaut to the space.
China’s space station project
China has been working for a long time to build its own space station. Since China’s exclusion from the International Space Station project in interests of America, the Communist regime has been working to make its own space station. “It was excluded from work with the ISS, largely due to the objections of the US – seen as one of the key spurs for the launch of its independent space programme 20 years ago,” says the Guardian. However, recently, the European Space Agency has supported China’s inclusion in the project. But, the country is now on verge to become the third country in the world to build own space station.