Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Astronauts on the upcoming Shenzhou-12 mission will engage in spacewalks outside the Tianhe core module of China’s Tiangong space station, a key figure in the nation’s manned space endeavor said.

China will launch a trio of astronauts on the upcoming Shenzhou XII mission in June to dock with the currently unoccupied Tianhe core module of China’s Tiangong space station.

The automated Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft was launched last Saturday evening, docking with the Tianhe core module early on Sunday morning

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Three-month journey

Yang Liwei, the first Chinese in space and now deputy chief planner of the country’s manned space program, told China Central Television (CCTV) on Sunday that during their three-month journey with Tianhe, two of the three-member crew, whose names have yet to be disclosed, will exit from the core module to examine, maintain or repair equipment.

Crew members of the Shenzhou-12 and the next three crewed spaceflights-Shenzhou-13, 14, and 15 were selected from those in the first and second groups of astronauts, Yang said.

Yang added that the Shenzhou-12 crew is all male, but there will be a woman in each of the next three missions.

China’s space station is projected to be completed in late 2022.
Credit: CAST


Flights next year

All astronauts in the next four spaceflights are undergoing intensive training, Yang said.

Shenzhou-13 is slated to fly to Tianhe in October, carrying three astronauts for a six-month mission inside the core module. Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 are expected to take place in 2022, with each crew team staying in space for half a year.

The piloted missions will depart from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

Go to this CCTV video focused on preparations  in readying piloted Shenzhou missions at:

Leave a Reply