Shenzhou-10 Lifts Off

Liftoff of Shenzhou-10 Credit :  Xinhuanet

Liftoff of Shenzhou-10
Credit : Xinhuanet


China’s Shenzhou-10 mission lifted off successfully this morning at 5:38 a.m. EDT, (5:38 p.m. local) sending the crew of three on what is expected to be a 40 hour rendezvous with the awaiting Tiangong-1  space station. During what the Chinese space agency has described as an “applications oriented flight,”  the astronauts will conduct both a manual and an automatic docking with the station to improve on the nation’s experience  prior to beginning construction of a larger,  3-person station with rotating crews planned for 2020.  

Today’s liftoff took place aboard a Long March 2F rocket, which is a 2-stage, all hypergolic launch vehicle, equipped with 4 strap-on liquid fueled “stage 0” boosters which are also hypergolic.  Although China is working on both kerosene / liquid oxygen and  fully cryogenic hydrogen / oxygen boosters, progress has thus far been slow.

Posted in: Chinese space

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