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China's Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship docks with space station module
Source: Xinhua | 2021-06-17 16:18:48 | Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship has successfully docked with the space station core module Tianhe on Thursday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The spaceship, launched on Thursday morning, completed orbital status setting after entering the orbit and conducted a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with the front docking port of Tianhe at 3:54 p.m. (Beijing Time), forming a three-module complex with the cargo craft Tianzhou-2.

The whole process took approximately 6.5 hours.

This is Tianhe's first rendezvous and docking with a Shenzhou spaceship since it was sent into orbit on April 29.

The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert at 9:22 a.m. (Beijing Time).

Three astronauts aboard Shenzhou-12 -- Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo -- will then enter the Tianhe module, according to the mission plan.

China launched Tianzhou-2 on May 29, and the cargo craft docked with Tianhe on May 30.
 

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Shenzhou-12 astronauts enter space station core module
Source: Xinhua | 2021-06-17 19:22:02 | Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The three Chinese astronauts onboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship entered the country's space station core module Tianhe on Thursday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

After Shenzhou-12 successfully completed a fast automated rendezvous and docking with the orbiting Tianhe module, the Shenzhou-12 crew entered the orbital capsule from the return capsule of the spaceship.

After a series of preparations, the astronauts opened the hatches of the node and the Tianhe module. By 6:48 p.m., Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo had entered the Tianhe module one by one, signifying that for the first time the Chinese have entered their own space station, said the CMSA.

They will carry out relevant work as planned, the CMSA said.
 

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Shenzhou-12 astronauts install WiFi on the space station
Shenzhou-12 astronauts installed wireless WiFi equipment in the core module of the space station. After completion, they would be connected to the ground network so that astronauts can communicate smoothly and have video calls with ground personnel.

 

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China begins construction of new survey telescope to detect space debris
Source: Xinhua | 2021-06-30 17:08:38 | Editor: huaxia

XINING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The construction of a survey telescope array, which will be mainly used to detect space debris in medium and high orbits, has begun in northwest China's Qinghai Province, taking advantage of the plateau region's clear night skies.

The multi-application survey telescope array, MASTA, developed by the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is under construction in the town of Lenghu, Qinghai, with an average altitude of 3,800 meters above sea level.

Slated for completion by 2023, the telescope's spectrum is expected to fill China's gap in this technology.

"The survey telescope array can detect small space debris and determine its orbit and operation law, thus providing early warnings and making it possible to avoid debris collisions threatening the safety of spacecraft," said Lei Chengming, a researcher at the Purple Mountain Observatory.

Tian Cairang, executive deputy director of the Lenghu Industrial Park Management Committee, said that Lenghu has become an astronomical observation base that now hosts six scientific research units and eight telescope projects. In the future, Lenghu is expected to become the largest astronomical observation base in China and a world-class astronomical research center.

The town, with a total area of 17,800 square km, is located 944 km away from Qinghai's capital of Xining. Its clear nights meet the conditions for a world-class observatory site.
 

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