China Ramps Up Crewed Space Missions

China successfully sent three astronauts into orbit yesterday, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It is the first of four space flights to complete their space station which they hope to do by the end of next year. The three astronauts were Nie Haisheng, 56, Liu Boming 54, and Tang Hongbo, 45.

They headed to the new Tiangong space station that is under construction now. Reports say the A Long March-2F rocket launched the astronauts in the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft. The craft docked with the main section of the space station just seven hours later. They are scheduled to stay for three months.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement Thursday regarding the China National Space Agency’s launch of the first crew to its Tiangong space station: “Congratulations to China on the successful launch of crew to their space station! I look forward to the scientific discoveries to come.”