The three-person Shenzhou 14 mission from China arrived at Tianhe, the core module of the underlying construction of Tiangong, before Sunday morning on June 5th, nearly six hours after heaving off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert. According to a Weibo post from the China Manned Space Agency, the capsule landed at the port facing the Earth of Tianhe at 5:42 a.m. EDT l.
“While they will be in orbit, the trio will perform a variety of scientific tests and academic outreach trainings, conduct several spacewalks and establish some new appliance inside and outside Tianhe, “Chinese space officers have said.
The two prior crewed missions to Tianhe, namely Shenzhou 12 and Shenzhou 13, also carried three astronauts to the core module. Shenzhou 12 took off in June 2021 and survived for three months, and the six-month-long Shenzhou 13 was initiated in October and retreated to Earth in mid-April.
Shenzhou 15 is anticipated to launch around the end of the year. If everything runs according to plan, Shenzhou 15 will coincide with Shenzhou 14, commemorating the Tiangong space station’s first-ever crew handover.
Shenzhou 14’s liftoff and entrance at Tianhe proceeded with a busy 2022 in human spaceflight. This year has already witnessed two suborbital space tourism missions performed by Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, Blue Origin, on March 31st and June 4th. Those were the liftoffs of three cosmonauts on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS.