Live: China launches Shenzhou 10

Editor’s note: China’s Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft was launched at 5:38 p.m., June 11, sending three astronauts, including one  female, into space to dock with Tiangong 1, China’s first space laboratory module. Stay with China.org.cn for live coverage of the blast-off, as well as live updates of the mission as it progresses.

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[19:08:24]   That’s it for our live coverage today. Thank you very much for staying with us – we’ll be back again in two days for the docking and module visiting.

[19:07:44]   China.org.cn will provide minute-by-minute live coverage on the docking and module visiting on June 13. Please stay with us on live.china.org.cn.

[19:02:00] In its 15-day journey, the spacecraft will dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1 twice, once through automatic operation and the other manual, and a lecture will for the first time be given on board of the assembled orbiter to a group of students on the ground.

[18:57:23] The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with Tiangong 1 on June 13.

[18:52:40] BBC reports that:

This mission, the fifth manned mission by China and slated to be the longest, is designated Shenzhou-10. It is the latest step in China’s plan to eventually put a permanently manned station above the Earth.

[18:47:12] How do you think of the launch of Shenzhou 10? Tell us in our forum.

[18:38:40] A combination picture of the lift-off:

[18:19:30] @Xing-zhe-shu-yuan from Sina Weibo:

Best wishes for our great motherland! May the three astronauts return home safely!

[18:11:25] @ Student Council of Guangzhou Medical University from Sina Weibo:

China is sending up to ten astronauts into space, including the three Shenzhou-10 crew-members ready to head out there later this afternoon. Three of the ten have been promoted to the rank of major general. Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou 10 mission and one of China’s first generals in space, was promoted to the rank of major general in June 2011, together with Fei Junlong, after they had successfully completed the Shenzhou 6 mission. China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei was promoted to the rank of major general in 2008, five years after he was sent into space.

[18:07:20] Xinhua News Agency reports that:

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday voiced congratulations on the successful launch of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

Xi came among space scientists at the command center in Jiuquan, shook hands with those participating in the program and sent his warm greetings to them.

The spacecraft blasted off from the launch center at 5:38 p.m..

[18:01:10]  More pictures of the blast-off:

[18:00:20] Premier Li Keqiang is shaking hands with control room staff in Beijing, expressing his best wishes for the flight.

[17:59:20] President Xi Jinping congratulates and shakes hands with control room staff.

[17:58:50] The commander-in-chief officially announces the successful launch of Shenzhou 10.

[17:52:00] @Posted by Sina Tianjin writes:

[A space trip creates many firsts]
1.    The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will spend 15 days in space – the longest-ever in Chinese manned space flight history.
2.    The first time without nighttime surveillance and individually designed menus for all three astronauts.
3.    It is the first time astronauts will teach middle and elementary school students while orbiting in space. Spacewoman Wang Yaping will be China’s first teacher in space.
4.    It will be China’s first applied space flight, providing the transportation of people and supplies to the Tiangong-1 module.

[17:51:50] Xinhua News Agency reports that:

China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, with three astronauts on board, entered its designated orbit on Tuesday afternoon. The spacecraft, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 5:38 p.m..

[17:50:20] Solar panel is opening.

[17:49:00] The astronauts wave to the camera in order to let the doctors on the ground know they are in good shape.

[17:47:20] The astronauts look relaxed.

[17:46:00] The second level switched off.

[17:45:20] The control room is tracking the astronauts’ physical status.

[17:44:30] Tracking is in control.

[17:43:00] Shenzhou 10 has entered outer space.

[17:42:20] Speed-accelerator separated.

[17:39:20] Control room tracks Shenzhou 10 on radar.

[17:38:20] China’s manned spacecraft Shenzhou 10 blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

[17:38:10] China’s manned spacecraft Shenzhou 10 started ignition.

[17:37:00] Premier Li Keqiang is watching the blast-off in the control room in Beijing.

[17:36:40] President Xi Jinping and other state officials are watching the blast-off on the spot.

[17:19] Latest development: Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft is scheduled to blast off in about 30 minutes. Three Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping are in the spacecraft and have finished all inspections before the launch.

[17:12] Xinhua News Agency reports that 33-year-old spacewoman Wang Yaping will be China’s first teacher in space.

Wang will teach Chinese primary and middle school students on Earth physics phenomena in a zero-gravity environment. She is preparing for the lecture and expressed full confidence about the upcoming lesson.

[17:01] More pictures of the see-off ceremony:

(From left to right) Wang Yaping, Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang, astronauts of the Shenzhou 10 mission, attend the setting-out ceremony at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Northwest China’s Gansu Province, June 11, 2013. The Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft will be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time (0938 GMT) June 11. [Photo: China.org.cn / Yang Dan]

Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China’s manned space program, speaks at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Northwest China’s Gansu Province, June 11, 2013. The Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft will be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 5:38 p.m. Beijing Time (0938 GMT) June 11. [Photo: China.org.cn / Zheng Liang]

[16:56] @Shangdong Wei Life from Sina Weibo:

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC), also known as “Dongfeng Aerospace City,” is one of the testing grounds in China for launching scientific satellites, technology experimental satellites and carrier rockets. It is the oldest comprehensive launching center — with the largest scale — in China. 49 satellites and nine Shenzhou spacecrafts have been launched here during the past 54 years.

[16:52] @Commentator Yang Yu from Sina Weibo:

In recent years, every time a Shenzhou spacecraft launched, some random ridiculous argument would emerge, saying that “Developing a space program costs so much money. The country should spend that in improving the people’s livelihood.” People who follow this logic and put “the space program” in direct opposition to “the people’s livelihood” neither understand science nor do they know much about the people’s livelihood. They are either ignorant or intentional.

[16:42] @ Student Council of Guangzhou Medical University from Sina Weibo:

China is sending up to ten astronauts into space, including the three Shenzhou-10 crew-members ready to head out there later this afternoon. Three of the ten have been promoted to the rank of major general. Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou 10 mission and one of China’s first generals in space, was promoted to the rank of major general in June 2011, together with Fei Junlong, after they had successfully completed the Shenzhou 6 mission. China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei was promoted to the rank of major general in 2008, five years after he was sent into space.

[16:23] @Youyuanzhu from Sina Weibo:

About one hour left before the launch of the Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft. I am thankful to and proud of the three astronauts who are shouldering this wonderful mission. I wish the Shenzhou 10 a successful launching and docking with the Tiangong 1.

[16:22]  @ Dapeng watching the world’ from Sina Weibo:

Very soon, one more manned spacecraft will take off. Some people say this is “country business,” having nothing to do with the individual. Dapeng doesn’t agree with this limited way of thinking. When you talk to foreigners, you will find that their impression of you is often “(you are) a Chinese” first, and then your knowledge and personality will come into play. The manned space flight is 100 percent part of the country’s national image. In fact, those critics generally also aim to push the nation onto the next level of growth in their daily lives. I wish the launch success from a distance!

[15:51] Who are the three astronauts?

Nie Haisheng is of Han nationality and a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC).Nie, who holds a masters degree, was born in September 1964. He was recruited by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in June 1983 and joined the CPC in December 1986. Currently, he is a Major General and a Premium Astronaut of the PLA.Nie served as a navigation director of a PLA Air Force division and a first-class pilot of the Air Force with 1,480 flight hours. He was selected to become one of China’s first astronauts in January 1998. In October 2005, Nie Haisheng successfully carried out the Shenzhou-6 space mission. In April 2013, Nie was selected to be a prime crew member of the Shenzhou-10 space mission.

Female astronaut Wang Yaping is a native of Yantai City in east China’s Shandong Province. Born in 1980, Wang is of Han nationality and holds a bachelor’s degree. Wang was recruited to the People’s Liberation Army in 1997 and became a member of the Communist Party of China in May 2000. Currently, she is a major. In 2010, Wang became a member of the second batch of Chinese astronauts and was selected to the crew of the Shenzhou-10 space mission in April 2013. Wang will be China’s first astronaut to give lectures to middle and elementary school students while in orbit.

Zhang Xiaoguang is a native of Jinzhou City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Born in May 1966, Zhang is of the Manchu ethnic group. Zhang joined the Chinese army in June 1985 and became a member of the Communist Party of China in August 1988. In January 1998, Zhang was trained as one of China’s first batch of astronauts and now is a member of the astronaut brigade of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He now holds the rank of a senior colonel. Before he was trained as an astronaut, Zhang was a senior pilot and has a record of 1,000 hours of safe flying. He has passed a comprehensive tests for astronauts, which consisted of basic theories, endurance and space engineering. In April 2013, he was enlisted as a crew member of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission.

[15:42] @ Woben Beipo from Sina Weibo:

Ten years have passed since China launched its first manned space flight in 2003. From a freshman in middle school to a university graduate, China’s space industry and I have been growing up together.

[15:38] Countdown: Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft to be launched in two hours.

[15:34] The best site to view the launching of Shenzhou 10 is in Jiuquan, Northwest China’s Gansu Province, but it takes 800 yuan to watch the blast-off. The small city of Jiuquan, located in the deserts of Northwest China, has been brought to the public’s attention due to the upcoming launch of Shenzhou 10 this afternoon. Hotels in Jiuquan City have been fully booked with tourists from across the country. According to domestic travel agencies, one can spend 800 yuan to enter the launching site and watch the Shenzhou 10 take off. Spectators can see the launch from a distance as close as three kilometers.

[15:31] What do astronauts in Shenzhou-10 eat? The three astronauts will have zongzi, glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or other plant leaves and tied with colored thread, and millet congee during the Dragon Boat festival. The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will orbit in outer space for 15 days, making it China’s longest-ever manned spaceflight. Unlike the Shenzhou 9 mission in 2012, there will be no astronaut on duty at night. Additionally, personalized food recipes have been prepared to cater to the various tastes of the three astronauts. The newly-added space food includes yogurt, fruit, millet congee and zongzi.

[15:21] China Business Morning: The departure ceremony for the astronauts of the Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft is being held in Yuanmengyuan Square at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Hundreds are gathering around the square, including local residents, staff members and journalists. They are awaiting the arrival of astronauts Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping.

[15:20] A see-off ceremony was held for astronauts of Shenzhou 10.

[15:16] The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft is set to blast off at 5:38 pm today. Stay with us for the live coverage.

[15:14] Shenzhou-10 astronaut Wang Yaping told China.org.cn yesterday that she is a post-’80s woman with hobbies varying from photography, music and basketball to traveling. Looking forward to her upcoming trip into space, she is happy to be sharing her experiences and thoughts with the public.

According to Wang, the three Shenzhou-10 crewmembers will spend 15 days in space. “As a first-time ‘spacewoman,’ aside from scientific experiments and other work-related duties, I will fully enjoy life in the zero-gravity environment and am going in with much curiosity.”

[15:12] @Dreamo_O from Sina Weibo:I wish for the secrets of the universe to no longer be this far away from us. Sail towards our new dreams! Go China!

[15:03] Headline News on Sina Weibo:

When Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping — astronauts of the Shenzhou 10 mission — met with the press yesterday, many eagle-eyed netizens surprisingly found that Nie Haisheng, who was on board of the Shenzhou 6 mission in 2005, seemed not to have aged one day in eight years. Sina Weibo quoted Cnr.cn as saying that his secret lies in keeping a balanced diet, exercising all year round and living a regular life.

[14.59] @YWL from Sina Weibo:

I sincerely wish these three great astronauts a special Dragon Boat Festival in outer space! (Tomorrow will be China’s Dragon Boat Festival.)

[10:55] The 48-year-old Nie Haisheng is not only the commander of the Shenzhou-10 mission, but also responsible for manually docking the spacecraft with Tiangong-1 module in orbit, which is unprecedented for a Chinese astronaut in one mission.

 

Nie Haisheng

[10:46] The 33-year-old spacewoman Wang Yaping will make history — she will be China’s first teacher in space.

Wang Yaping

[10:30] Zhang Xiaoguang will assist the commander to accomplish the spacecraft’s manual docking with space module Tiangong-1. He will also carry the camera and record a lecture, which will be given by his teammate Wang Yaping to middle and elementary school students in China.

Zhang Xiaoguang

[June 10, 17:40] Astronauts announced: Astronauts of the Shenzhou-10 mission, males Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang as well as female Wang Yaping, met the press on Monday.

点击查看大图

(From left to right) Wang Yaping, Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang, three astronauts to go the space on Shenzhou-10 spacecraft.

[June 10, 15:45] The three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will enjoy a more comfortable environment on the Tiangong-1, a target orbiter and space module, compared with the last manned mission, Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China’s manned space program, told a press briefing Monday.

[June 10, 15:20] It is the first time astronauts will give a lesson to middle and elementary school students while in orbit.

[Juen 10, 15:15] Shenzhou-10 will dock with Tiangong-1 with automatic and manual operations, where astronauts will conduct space science experiments and offer lessons to students on Earth.

[June 10, 15:08] Orbiter Tiangong-1 is ready and in position for the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission.

 

A press conference to brief on the launch of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft is held by China’s space program headquarters at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China’s Gansu Province, June 10, 2013.

 

[June 10, 15:04] The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday with three astronauts on board, China’s manned space program spokeswoman said on Monday.

 

The Long March-2F carrier rocket is seen at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan.  

 

Here is some background information about this blast-off:

  • Mission to be executed:  Shenzhou 10’s mission is to improve the technologies of Shenzhou 9 in space docking. 2.With a height of 9 meters, a weight of 8 tons and a maximum diameter of 2.9 meters, Shenzhou 10 will fly at 28,440 kph and will take 90 minutes to circle around earth. The space flight will spend 15 days in space and dock with Tiangong 1 on the 12th day, where astronauts will conduct space science experiments and offer lessons to students back on Earth. The space module entered the appropriate docking orbit at the end of May and is now running normally.
  • Launching site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
  • Aircraft: Shenzhou 10, constituted of a propelling module, a return capsule and an orbital module, is the fifth manned space flight of China’s Shenzhou spacecraft series.
  • Carrier rocket: Modified Long March-2F rocket

    Before the launch of Shenzhou 5 using a Long March 2F at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

  • Candidate astronauts:

Wang Yaping, 35, a former air force pilot, will become the second Chinese woman in space after Liu Yang, who was on board the Shenzhou-9 mission in 2012.

   

The other two astronauts are yet to be announced:

 

 


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