News / Asia

    China Launches 15-day Manned Space Mission

    Chinese astronauts (from L to R) Wang Yaping, Zhang Xiaoguang and Nie Haisheng wave before leaving for the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission at Jiuquan satellite launch center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, June 11, 2013.
    Chinese astronauts (from L to R) Wang Yaping, Zhang Xiaoguang and Nie Haisheng wave before leaving for the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission at Jiuquan satellite launch center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, June 11, 2013.
    Shannon Van Sant
    China launched a manned space mission Tuesday, continuing its ambitious goal of building its own space station. Among the many tasks to be undertaken during the 15-day flight, the astronauts will lead lectures from space to educate Chinese students.
     
    China launched the manned Shenzhou-10 spacecraft from a satellite launch center in the Gobi desert.  The space craft is carrying two men and one woman and will travel through space for 15 days.
     
    Chinese president Xi Jinping met with the astronauts before take off.  
     
    Xi said the astronauts made Chinese people feel very proud.  He said the mission is glorious and sacred.  He said he is confident the crew will complete the mission successfully and he looks forward to the astronauts’ triumphant return.  
     
    The spacecraft will go through two docking tests with the orbiting space lab module Tiangong 1.  One test will be automatic, and the other manual.  Astronauts will also perform tests on the station’s life support systems.  The Tiangong serves as a prototype for a larger space station China plans to launch in 2020.  

    • A student looks at his iPad as his class watches a live broadcast of a lecture given by astronauts from the Tiangong-1 space module, at a primary school in Quzhou, Zhejiang province, China, June 20, 2013.
    • Students watch a live broadcast of a lecture given by astronauts on the Tiangong-1 space module, at a school in Beijing, June 20, 2013.
    • The Long March 2-F rocket loaded with the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft lifts off from the launch pad in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, June 11, 2013.
    • People watch as the Long March 2-F rocket loaded with the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft lifts off, Gansu province, China, June 11, 2013.
    • A soldier runs away from the launch pad holding the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft at Jiuquan satellite launch center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, June 10, 2013.
    • Chinese astronauts (from L to R) Wang Yaping, Zhang Xiaoguang and Nie Haisheng wave before leaving for the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission, Gansu province, June 11, 2013.

    The astronauts will also deliver a series of talks to primary and middle school students from aboard the Tiangong.  Chinese state media reports the lectures will focus on physics.  NASA has long used student outreach as a means of inspiring support for the U.S. space program.  
     
    Morris Jones, an Australian space analyst, said China’s expanding space program is part of an effort to show the Chinese people, and the world, the country’s rising power.  
     
    “If it wants to be a super power class nation, that developing a very strong space program is one way it can project that image both internally and externally to the outside world,” he said. 
     
    China was prevented from taking part in the International Space Station, in part, because of U.S. objections over the space program’s link to China’s military.  China’s future space station will weigh 60 tons and be about one-sixth the size of the International Space Station. 
     
    “It really shows the transformation in China over the last decade. China is now so very different from where it was just a decade ago," said Stephen Noerper, an East Asia analyst with the New York-based Korean Society. "It's grown so very much in its economic prowess, in terms of its political importance, and in terms of its technical capabilities, that it makes things like this next step in space very much significant and an important sign of where China stands in terms of its role as an emerging global player.”
     
    The space mission’s crew includes China’s second female astronaut to travel into space.  Wang Yaping is also China’s first astronaut born in the 1980s.  State-run media reports say she grew up in a farming family in China’s Shandong Province before being selected as an astronaut in 2010.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora