China Launched The Longest Space Mission With Six Crew
On October 17, 2016 the Chinese nation released its longest space mission, which is expected to last for a month. The Shenzhou (Divine Vessel) 11 blasted of at 07:30 local time at the Jiuquan remote launch site, in the Gobi desert.
Reuters shares more information on the story. Commander of the mission is Jing, for who this will be a third voyage into space. With it, except the crew, the ship will also carry three science experiments developed by Chinese school students. One of the experiments is described as an attempt to transport silkworms into space.
This prolonged stay into space is a preparation for the grand plans of the Chinese space mission.
Since, they are not allowed on the ISS, due to concerns on the side of the U.S.A, the Chinese plan on building their own space station, which even though considerably smaller (60 tons) than the ISS (420 tons) has the goal of being turned into a new international project for astronauts of friendly countries.
The core module for the station is expected to blast off at the year of 2018 and the station to be finished in 2022, with an expected lifespan of ten years.
Fox News has a more thorough description of the reaction which the Chinese nation has shown towards its space mission. Since China is the third country to independently send people into space, this is a pretty big deal for its populous. The blast off of preceded by a ceremony of twelve people, dressed in different colors which represent the minorities of the Chinese nation.
After the announced success of the launch Defense Minister Fan Changlong read a congratulatory message from President Xi Jinping calling for China's astronauts to explore space, "More deeply and more broadly."
The mission’s captain Jing, that it has to be every astronaut’s dream to pursue success and try to perform as many missions as it is possible in his lifetime. China’s surely becoming a broad space force, and the success of the future space station program will ensure it a place not only among the strong nations of the world, but in history itself.