China's next manned space mission Shenzhou-16 to launch in May: CMSA
Updated 17:52, 18-May-2023
The official logo of the Shenzhou-16 mission. /CMSA
The official logo of the Shenzhou-16 mission. /CMSA

The official logo of the Shenzhou-16 mission. /CMSA

China's next manned space mission – the Shenzhou-16 spaceship – will be launched in this month, according to a plan on the website of the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Originally a backup spacecraft for the Shenzhou-15 mission, the new spacecraft will carry three taikonauts, or Chinese astronauts, to the China Space Station, where they will meet with the three-person Shenzhou-15 crew.

The new crew will carry out spacewalks like their predecessors, and conduct scientific experiments and technology verification. They are also tasked with the mission to publicize science among people around the world.

The Shenzhou-16 spacecraft, assembled in late 2022, has already been transported to the launch site. The logo for the mission was revealed in March, which incorporates the "Kun," a sacred animal from Chinese mythology that flies extremely high and far in a steady manner.

China plans to launch two manned spacecraft and one or two cargo spacecraft into space every year, according to the CMSA.

Assembled in late 2022, the China Space Station features a T-shaped basic structure and has already accommodated four groups of taikonauts.

China launched the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft on May 10, which carried supplies for the Shenzhou-16 crew to the space station.

The next manned mission will be Shenzhou-17, set to be carried out in October.

(Wu Rong contributed to the story.)

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