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Combo of Shenzhou13 manned spacecraft and Long March 2F Y13 rolls out to launch pad
Published: Oct 07, 2021 10:24 AM
Combo of Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft and Long March 2F Y13 rolls out to launch pad Photo: Wang Jiangbo

Combo of Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft and Long March 2F Y13 rolls out to launch pad Photo: Wang Jiangbo



China's manned space gets busy again right after the week-long National Day holidays, with authorities announcing on Thursday that the combination of the Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft and Long March-2F Y13 carrier rocket has rolled out to a launch pad in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Northwest China's Gansu Province. 

The Global Times learned from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Thursday that the facility at the Jiuquan center is in good shape and preparations and tests are underway.

Space observers speculated that the launch of the second manned mission to China's Tianhe space station core module could be in a few days, most likely by the middle of October, which is about one month after the successful return of the three taikonauts of Shenzhou-12.

The CMSA has not revealed the official line-up of the Shenzhou-13 crew as of press time. However, the back-up crew of the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceflight mission - Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu - are rumored to take a ride of the Shenzhou-13 craft in the upcoming mission.

If this is true, Wang, 41, who beamed down live from space to 330 elementary and middle school students in Beijing when she was in space onboard the nation's Tiangong-1 space lab module in 2013, would be the first female taikonaut to go to space during the building of China Space Station period.

Space observers also predicted that Wang would likely carry out a spacewalk mission during the record-long stay, which would make her the first woman in China's space history to deliver the feat.

The Shenzhou-13 crew are expected to stay six months in space, doubling the time of the Shenzhou-12 mission.

Carrying supplies, equipment and propellant to get Tianhe ready for the next Shenzhou-13 mission in October for their six-month stay, Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft was launched from Wencang spaceport in South China's Hainan Province on September 20.

Also onboard the Tianzhou-3 is one piece of spacesuit for spacewalk weighing 90 kilograms, a much lighter one than the two pieces of spacesuits each weighing some 100 kilograms that the Tianzhou-2 had sent to Tianhe.

Space observers said this could be a smaller one specially for a woman taikonaut in the Shenzhou-13 mission. 


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