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China Launches Manned Mission to its Space Module

Oct. 17, 2016 (EIRNS)—The Shenzou-11 took off from China’s Gansu province Monday morning. The launch was flawless. The Taikonauts’ mission is to rendezvous with the Tiangong II space module, which is the precursor to the Tiangong III, a full-fledged space station to be launched in 2020. At that time, China will have the only functioning space station in the world.

The Shenzou-11 crew’s mission will entail the longest stay in space of any Chinese Taikonauts. It will last 30 days and will study plant growth and the effects of space on the human body. The Taikonauts will give each other ultrasound scans to study the effects of space radiation on their bodies’ functioning. This is a precursor to manned missions to the Moon.

In a congratulatory statement to the Taikonauts, carried on state TV, President Xi Jinping said he hopes they will "vigorously advance the spirit of space travel." He further said that this mission will "enable China to take larger and further steps in space exploration and make new contributions to build up China as a space power."

The pictures of the launch were spectacular, and millions watched in China.

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