China's Shenzhou 11, a manned mission with multiple objectives will launch on Monday
Beijing, 16th Oct., 2016, Red Newswire/-
China's space agency announced today that a new manned mission named Shenzhou 11 is going to launch on Monday, 17th October, 2016. The news was first reported by state-owned Xinhua news agency. Apparently, this mission will be taking the country a step closer to setting up a permanent manned space station by 2022. This has been an ambition of the Asian country for a while now.
According to China, the mission is for peaceful purposes like research and development only. But the US Defense Department took it upon itself to point out the fact that the capabilities are hugely increasing. It added that China was pursuing activities intend to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.
Earlier, we saw President Xi Jinping call for China to turn itself into a space power. The country has already started testing civilian services as well as anti-satellite missions.
The launch is scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. (2330 GMT) and it will be a spectacle to behold. There will be two astronauts aboard the spacecraft. The plan is that once the shuttle escapes the clutches of the earth's atmosphere, the astronauts will dock with the Tiangong 2 space laboratory. They will then spend about a month there. This time will be utilised to test the systems and processes for extended stays in space. They will also refuel the space shuttle and conduct various research experiments.
The Tiangong 2 space lab was launched last month with the sole aim of acting as a pad for space experiments. It is China's second space lab.
“Flying in space is my job,” one of the astronauts of the mission, Jing Haipeng said through a translator. “It’s also my dream and my mission. Although the job itself is full of challenges and full of risks, and even danger to life, to be honest, I’m really, really enthusiastic and really … enjoy my job as an astronaut.”
Picture credit: VentureBeat