China launches three astronauts up to its new space station

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
China has launched three astronauts up to its new space station from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, according to Space.com, its first crewed mission in almost five years.

The astronauts are aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship, which was propelled by a Long March-2F Y12 rocket, according to the Associated Press.

Space.com reports that Shenzhou-12's launch is the third of 11 required to build China's new space station, which it expects to complete before 2023.

Already in position are the Tianhe core module, which contains the astronauts' living quarters, and the robotic Tianzhou 2 cargo craft, which attached to the core module late last month. Shenzhou-12 will dock with the core module and the astronauts will then spend three months aboard.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Location of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
2. Shenzhou-12 spaceship detaches from Long March-2F Y12 rocket
3. Shenzhou-12 docks with Tianhe core module and Tianzhou 2 cargo craft
4. Close up of Tianhe core module
5. Interior of Tianhe core module, living quarters
6. Chinese astronauts on space walk outside space station
7. Last month's Long March 5B rocket making uncontrolled entry to Earth's atmosphere
8. Burned-up rocket falling into the ocean

VOICEOVER (in English):

"China has launched three astronauts up to its new space station from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, according to Space.com, its first crewed mission in almost five years."

"The astronauts are aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship, which was propelled by a Long March-2F Y12 rocket, according to the Associated Press."

"Space.com reports that Shenzhou-12's launch is the third of 11 required to build China's new space station, which it expects to complete before 2023."

"Already in position are the Tianhe core module, which contains the astronauts' living quarters, and the robotic Tianzhou 2 cargo craft, which attached to the core module late last month. Shenzhou-12 will dock with the core module and the astronauts will then spend three months aboard."

"Tianhe is the third set of living quarters China has sent up to space, after Tiangong 1 and Tiangong 2. However, it is much larger than those vessels, at 54 feet or 16.6 meters long, versus their 34 feet or 10.4 meters."

"The core module contains three separate bedrooms and three times more interior space than its predecessors, Space.com reports, citing China's state-run press agency Xinhua."

"Once they have docked, the three astronauts will set up testing and experiments and conduct a series of spacewalks, according to the Associated Press."

"Two further lab modules, called Wentian and Mengtian, will complete the station when they are attached to either side of Tianhe next year, according to Space.com, leaving it about 15 percent of the size of the International Space Station."

"The launch of the Tianhe module last month was criticized after part of the rocket that carried it to space made an uncontrolled re-entry to Earth. However Ji Qiming, assistant director of China's Manned Space Agency, dismissed the possibility of that happening again, the Associated Press reports."

"China has published the rocket's trajectory and it is expected to burn up well before it could cause any danger, he said."


SOURCES: Space.com, Associated Press
https://www.space.com/china-launching-shenzhou-12-astronauts-to-space-station
https://www.space.com/china-launches-astronauts-space-station-tianhe-shenzhou-12
https://apnews.com/article/china-technology-business-science-15643befa1056aa5b8181ca83b98248c