On Tuesday evening, China launched a rocket carrying three astronauts to complete the construction of its permanent space station and expand it to its full capacity.
The China Manned Space Agency launched the “Shenzhou 15” spacecraft at 23:08 (15:08 GMT) on a Long March 2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwest of the country.
The spacecraft carries three astronauts on board: Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, to carry out the spaceflight mission, and the crew members will remain in orbit for about 6 months.
After entering orbit, Shenzhou 15 will quickly and automatically dock with the front port of the core unit of the Tianhe space station.
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The Chinese space station will then be expanded to its largest configuration that includes three modules and three spaceships, bringing its total weight to nearly 100 tons, according to Chinese media.