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China discloses tasks of Shenzhou-12 manned spaceflight mission

Updated: Jun 16,2021 13:50 PM    Xinhua

JIUQUAN — The upcoming Shenzhou-12 manned spaceflight mission aims to conduct in-orbit verification of major technologies in China's space station construction and operation, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on June 16.

The technologies to be tested include those concerning the astronauts' long-term stay and healthcare, recycling and life support system, supply of space materials, extravehicular activities and operations, as well as in-orbit maintenance, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of the CMSA, at a press conference.

The Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship, with three astronauts aboard, is expected to be launched at 9:22 am on June 17 (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China, Ji said.

This will be the first manned mission during the construction of China's space station, and the crew will stay in orbit for three months, he said.

Assisted by the mechanical arm, astronauts will carry out extravehicular activities for a relatively long time for operations including equipment installation and maintenance, Ji said.

The space-Earth transport system for manned space missions will be tested further as part of the mission, he added.

The improved Long March-2F carrier rocket has higher reliability and safety, while the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship is upgraded from previous versions with new capabilities such as fast autonomous rendezvous and docking, rendezvous and docking in radial direction as well as in-orbit docking for up to 180 days, he said.

The mission will carry out multi-field space applications and experiments, and for the first time examine the astronaut research and rescue capabilities at the Dongfeng landing site in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Ji said.

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