Shenzhou-12, which means “Divine Ship”, will be the third of 11 missions needed to complete the Chinese space station by 2022.
In the coming days, a Chinese spacecraft will explode from the Gobi Desert with a long-range rocket, orbiting a rotating space module for a stay of three men, the first time China has sent humans into space for almost five years.
Shenzhou-12, which means “Divine Ship”, will be the third of 11 missions needed to complete the Chinese space station by 2022. Four of them will be missions in which there will be people, it is possible to push up to 12 Chinese astronauts. More than 11 men and women sent to China since 2003.
Craft will take the hopes of some of the people of the most populous nation on Earth into space.
“Motherland is strong,” wrote a person on Chinese social media, who was enlightened by the good wishes of the staff of “Shenzhou-12”. “The start is a gift to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party.”
Chinese astronauts had a relatively low international reputation. US law banning NASA from communicating with China means that its astronauts have not been to the International Space Station for more than two decades, visited by more than 240 men and women of different nationalities.
China, which aims to become a major space power by 2030, became the second country to land a rover on Mars in May, two years after the first spacecraft landed on the far side of the moon.
It plans to place astronauts on the moon.
This time men
The Shenzhen-12 crew will be based in Tianhe, Harmony of Heaven, with a cylinder 16.6 meters (55 feet) long and 4.2 meters (14 feet) in diameter.
The planned three-month stay would break the country record of 30 days set by a prototype station for the last flight of the 2016 Chinese crew, Chen Dong ing-ing Haipeng.
This mission will include three men from the first and second groups of astronauts. China’s first astronaut, Yang Liwei, director of China’s Office of Human Space Engineering, told the Global Times last month.
Chinese space bloggers predict that the astronauts will be Ni Heisheng, who at the age of 56 will be the oldest Chinese astronaut sent into space – 55-year-old Deng ing ing and 40-year-old Guangfu.
Authorities usually do not announce mission staff before or after the start of the mission. China Manned Space did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
The oldest man in space was Gon Glan, who flew a spaceship at the age of 77 in 1998, after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, a US senator-presidential candidate.
Although no women are assigned to the Shenzhou-12 mission, they are expected for each subsequent mission.
Two women, Liu Yang and Wang Yaping, were selected in the second group in China in 2011 after the first batch of 14 men in the mid-1990s. In 2012, Liu was China’s first woman in space, and Wang was the youngest, aged 33, in 2013.
China began building its space station in April, launching the first of three modules – the largest with the launch of Tianhe. This year, it aims to send three more astronauts to a robotic cargo spacecraft, this time for a six-month stay.