Shenzhou-10 Manned Spacecraft to Launch Today
Today at 5:38 pm, China will be launching its fifth manned spacecraft with three astronauts ten years after the country’s first astronaut was brought to space. The Shenzhou-10 manned ship will carry two men Zhang Xiaoguang and Nie Haisheng and a female astronaut Wang Yaping.
Wang will be the second woman to join the manned space mission and the first one to be born in the 1980s. Wang grew up in a farm in Shandong Province and served as a transport pilot before selected to become an astronaut in 2010. This mission will be Nie’s second trip to space, the 48 year old commander was on board the Shenzhou-6 when it was launched in 2005. And it will be Zhang’s first space journey and he served as a senior air force pilot before selected for the astronaut program in 1998.
The manned spacecraft will be in space for 15 days and will go through two docking test with Tiangong-1 the orbiting space lab module. The astronauts will also do technical and medical tests and will give lectures to students on the ground while in space on the effects of weightless conditions. The lecture will be done live and Wang will be the one to give the lecture.
Tiangong-1 space lab is in stable condition and is already ready to receive the astronauts and to perform the docking tests.