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News > China

Chinese Astronauts Arrive at Tiangong Space Station

  • China's Tiangong space station, 2024.

    China's Tiangong space station, 2024. | Photo: X/ @JfkWhitlam

Published 26 April 2024

The Shenzhou 18 arrival is another step in the implementation of the Chinese Space Agenda.

On Thursday, the Chinese Space Agency reported that the Shenzhou 18 manned spacecraft was safely assembled at the Tiangong Space Station.


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The spacecraft took off from the Jiuquan launch center in northwest China at 8:59 p.m. local time and was launched on the Long March 2F rocket. Chinese astronauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu were on the mission.

They will remain on the Tiangong space station for six months, during which they plan to carry out experiments on different topics related to physics.

The new crew will replace the Shenzhou-17 mission team, which took off into space in October 2023. Since then, they have been carrying out scientific experiments related to the China Exo-Ecosystem Space Experiment (CHEESE).

The text reads, "On Friday, the Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-18, with three taikonauts on board, successfully docked with the Tiangong space station. The astronauts plan to carry out between two and three extravehicular activities and six exits through the cargo hatch during their six-month stay in orbit."

Designed by scientists from Tsinghua University, the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics and Dalian Maritime University, CHEESE was related to the exposure of microorganisms to space conditions, including microgravity, vacuum, UV radiation and extreme temperatures.

The arrival of Shenzhou 18 constitutes another step in the implementation of the Chinese Space Agenda, which seeks to send astronauts to the Moon until 2030.

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