China sent astronauts to the new space station for the first time. free Press

China sent astronauts to the new space station for the first time.  free Press

The three astronauts are to take off from the Jiuquan space station in the Gobi Desert and stay at the new station for three months. The plan is to start on Thursday.

BEIJING (AP) – China wants to send a spacecraft with three astronauts to its under-construction space station for the first time on Thursday morning.

The Chinese space agency announced in a press conference that the launch is scheduled for 9.22 a.m. (3.22 a.m. CET). Chinese astronauts Ni Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are part of the mission.

The first module of the “Tiangong” space station, which should be ready by the end of 2022, was sent into space in early May. Another cargo flight with material and fuel took place in late May.

The astronauts will fly from the Jiuquan space station in the Gobi Desert and stay in the new station’s main module for three months. The timing of the flight schedule is certain: another supply flight is scheduled to begin in September. Three more astronauts will follow in October.

To complete the space station, two more laboratory modules, each weighing a good 20 tons, will be brought into space. Two more cargo flights and two manned missions are planned for the next year. If the International Space Station (ISS) stops operating as planned over the next few years, China will be the only country that still operates a permanent outpost in space.

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