*** ----> China’s Shenzhou-18 mission docks with space station | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

China’s Shenzhou-18 mission docks with space station

AFP | Beijing 

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

A spaceship carrying three astronauts from China’s Shenzhou-18 mission safely docked at Tiangong space station yesterday, state-run media reported, the latest step in Beijing’s space programme that aims to send astronauts to the Moon by 2030.

The crew took off in a capsule atop a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest at 8:59 pm local time !1259 GMT) Thursday.

By early yesterday the spacecraft had “successfully docked” with the space station, state-run news agency Xinhua reported, citing the China Manned Space Agency.

The mission is led by Ye Guangfu, a fighter pilot and astronaut who was previously part of the Shenzhou-13 crew in 2021.

He is joined by astronauts Li Cong and Li Guangsu, who are heading into space for the first time.

Onlookers cheered as the rocket blasted off into the night sky, an AFP journalist at the scene said. Xinhua said the launch had been declared a “complete success”.

The astronauts will stay at the Tiangong space station for six months.

There they plan to carry out experiments “in the fields of basic physics in microgravity, space material science, space life science, space medicine and space technology”, the China Manned Space Agency has said.

They will also try and create an aquarium onboard and seek to raise fish in zero gravity, according to Xinhua.