Every weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On October 19, China released images of preparations for a Long March launcher, which will soon send a new crew of taikonauts into space.
The succession of the fifth permanent occupation mission of the great Chinese station CSS (Chinese Space Station) is preparing.
On October 19, the China broadcast images of the launcher Long Walk 2F (CZ2F) leaving its assembly building on the site of Jiuquanin Inner Mongolia, to join its SLS 1 (South Launch Site 1) launch pad, accompanied by an impressive cohort of technicians brandishing flags and red pennants.
At the top of the launcher, under a protective cap topped with an easily identifiable ejection tower, is the three-seater vessel. Shenzhou 17, whose crew has – as usual – not yet been officially communicated.
Some observers expect that command of the mission will be handed over to Liu Wangwho was a pilot on Shenzhou 9 in June 2012.
Twenty years of manned flights in China
The departure of Shenzhou 17 to the CSS seems set today for October 26 at 3:14 UTC, with a return next month of Shenzhou 16 and its members, after six months in orbit.
The launch of Shenzhou 16 took place on May 30.
It was the eleventh Chinese manned flight in twenty years, the Shenzhou 5 mission of Yang Liwei having occurred on October 15, 2003.
It lasted 21 hours and 22 minutes at the time.