China's six astronauts make historic gathering in space

The three astronauts aboard China's Shenzhou XV spaceship meet with another astronaut trio on Nov 30, 2022.- Xinhua

BEIJING (China Daily/Asia News Network): The three astronauts aboard China's Shenzhou 15 spaceship entered the country's space station and met with another astronaut trio on Wednesday (Nov 30), a historic gathering that added the manpower at the in-orbit space lab to six for the first time.

The trio aboard Shenzhou 15 will then enter the Tianhe module and the three astronauts of the Shenzhou 14 crew have gotten ready for the arrival of the Shenzhou-15 crew, said the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

It is the first time that Chinese astronauts aboard the space station have seen the visit of a crewed spaceship, said the CMSA.

Chen Dong, the commander of the Shenzhou-14 crew, opened the hatch at 7:33 am (Beijing Time).

The three space station occupants greeted the new arrivals with warm hugs and then they took a group picture with their thumbs up, shouting in chorus - "China's space station is always worth looking forward to."

The space reunion kicked off the first in-orbit crew rotation in China's space station, according to the space agency.

The six astronauts are projected to live and work together for about five days to complete planned tasks and handover work, said the CMSA.

The Shenzhou 15 manned spaceship also successfully docked with the space station combination, according to the CMSA.

The spaceship, launched on Tuesday night, conducted a fast automated rendezvous and docked with the front port of the space station's Tianhe module at 5:42 am Wednesday (Beijing Time), said the space agency.

The whole process took approximately 6.5 hours, the CMSA said.

The spaceship, atop the Long March-2F Y15 carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 11:08 pm Tuesday (Beijing Time).

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China , space , Shenzhou XIII , Tiangong


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