Chinese astronauts enter space station’s lab module


Three Chinese astronauts, locally called Taikonauts, successfully entered a lab module on Monday, China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said in a brief statement.

“The astronauts of Shenzhou-14 manned spaceship, who entered the Tianhe core module of the space station, has successfully opened the Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft,” the statement said, adding the astronauts made an environmental inspection and other preparations.

Known as Wentian, it is the first lab module of China’s space station launched on Sunday, which has since successfully docked with the combination of the Tianhe core module, the CMSA said.

China aims to fully establish its independent space station in a few months.

The astronauts will also enter the Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft and carry out cargo transfer and other related work as planned, the CMSA said.

It is the first time Chinese astronauts have entered a lab module in orbit.

According to the CMSA plan, the astronauts will carry out in-orbit works including “integrated attitude control of the space station and tests on Wentian’s small robotic arm as well as the larger robotic arm on the core module.”

“It is the first time that China’s two 20-tonne-level spacecraft conducted rendezvous and docking in orbit, and also the first time that space rendezvous and docking were carried out during the astronauts’ in-orbit stay in the space station,” the CMSA added.​​​​​​​

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