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Business News/ News / World/  Mission moon: China to launch next-generation crewed spacecraft as early as 2027. Details here
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Mission moon: China to launch next-generation crewed spacecraft as early as 2027. Details here

China's next-generation crewed spacecraft, capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, is expected to make its first flight between 2027 and 2028, according to a veteran Chinese astronaut.

China plans to launch its next-generation crewed spacecraft, capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, for the first time between 2027 and 2028. (AP)Premium
China plans to launch its next-generation crewed spacecraft, capable of carrying up to seven astronauts, for the first time between 2027 and 2028. (AP)

China's next-generation crewed spacecraft may fly for the first time between 2027 and 2028, a veteran Chinese astronaut revealed. It can transport up to seven astronauts,

China's journey into manned space exploration began in 2003 with the historic flight of Yang Liwei, a former fighter pilot, aboard the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft. He was sent into orbit in a small bronze-coloured capsule His mission made him China's first man in space and a national hero celebrated by millions.

"In the future, a new generation of spacecraft will be used on crewed lunar missions, to build our space station, and for deep-space exploration," Yang, currently deputy chief designer of China's manned spaceflight project said at a Chinese university on 17 July, stated state-run Guangzhou Daily.

According to Yang's statement, recent tests on the return capsule of the upcoming spacecraft have been "very successful", paving the way for its first flights estimated to occur between 2027 and 2028. 

The next-generation spacecraft had its initial test flight in 2020, marking an important milestone in China's space exploration endeavours. With the successful operation of China's space station last year, renewed focus has been placed on the ambitious plan to send astronauts to the moon by 2030. Engineers have been actively working on refining the project, revealing intricate details, such as the carrier rockets to be utilized and the spacecraft's configuration for transporting astronauts and equipment, reported Reuters.

Also read: These are the listed companies behind the successful launch of Chandrayaan 3 mission; do you own any?

China's Shenzhou spacecraft can transport up to three astronauts to low-Earth orbit that is based on Russia's Soyuz. It consists of a life-support and propulsion module, a re-entry capsule for their return to earth and an in-orbit module for short-term human habitation.

Also read: Chandrayaan-3: Second orbit-raising manoeuvre performed successfully, says ISRO

The new spacecraft will be designed with only two modules - the propulsion and the return modules - to accommodate larger modules and significantly increase the carrying capacity to seven individuals. Zhang Bainan, chief designer of the trial version of the new-generation spacecraft, explained this design choice in 2020. Moreover, the return module's impressive heat resistance allows for substantial reusability.

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

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Published: 18 Jul 2023, 01:52 PM IST
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