Recently, China launched the crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in historic mission
- The flight marks the seventh crewed Chinese spaceflight and the seventh crewed flight of the Shenzhou program.
- The recently launched spacecraft is carrying three astronauts to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national.
- These astronauts are to work and stay on Tianhe, the living quarters of the future space station, for three months.
- The three men will test the module’s technologies including its life-support system.
- A Long March 2F rocket is transporting the Shenzhou-12, or Divine Vessel.
- Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station.
- Construction of the space station began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of the three modules.
About Tianhe(Harmony of Heavens)
- Also known as the Tianhe core module, is the first module to launch of the Tiangong space station.
- The core module provides life support and living quarters for three crew members, and provides guidance, navigation, and orientation control for the station.
- It is the first module of a third-generation Chinese modular space station.
- Other examples of modular station projects include the Soviet/Russian Mir, Russian OPSEK, and the International Space Station