Chinese astronauts arrive at Tiangong space station to prepare for its completion

China Launches Shenzhou-14 Manned Spaceship
A Long March 2F rocket with the Shenzhou 14 spacecraft takes off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. | Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Three Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, arrived at the Tianhe core module of the unfinished Tiangong space station on Sunday morning, where they’ll stay for six months to help finish its construction (via Space.com). The Shenzhou 14 spacecraft took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Saturday at 10:44PM ET (10:44AM local time) and docked with Tianhe at 5:42AM ET (5:42PM local time).

The three-person crew includes Chen Dong, Cai Xuzhe, and Liu Yang, who originally made history as the first Chinese woman in space during the country’s Shenzhou 9 mission in 2012. While they’re in orbit, the crew is expected to conduct several spacewalks and prepare the station for the arrival of two additional lab modules,…

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Author: Emma Roth