China has sent its youngest-ever astronaut crew to the Tiangong space station
aboard the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft. The three taikonauts are Liu Yang, the commander of the mission, and two male astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, both with extensive experience in China’s space program.
China’s Shenzhou-14 mission marks a major milestone for the country’s space program, as it is the first crewed mission to the Tiangong space station, which was launched by China in 2011. After docking, the astronauts will conduct experiments in biology and space medicine, as well as perform maintenance on the station. The mission is expected to last for 30 days, after which the crew will return to Earth aboard the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft.
This mission is part of China’s plans to establish a permanent space station in 2022, and the country is also planning for its first unmanned mission to the moon in the near future. China is also heavily involved in other space-related activities such as asteroid research and manned lunar exploration. China’s Tiangong space station and Shenzhou spacecrafts are laying the groundwork for the country’s plans to become a major player in the space industry in the coming years.