Axiom Mission 2 successfully launches from Kennedy Space Center
Fox News correspondent Jonathan Serrie joins ‘Fox Report’ with the latest details on Axiom Mission 2’s flight to the International Space Station.
China sent three astronauts, including its first civilian, into orbit early Tuesday as the country gears up for a space race with the United States, Chinese authorities said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Tuesday’s launch sent veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng on his fourth mission into space. He was accompanied by first-timers spaceflight engineer Zhu Yangzhu and payload specialist Gui Haichao, who is also a professor at Beihang University in Beijing.
“We’re 20 years apart in age, which makes this a cross-generational team,” Jing said Monday.
The astronauts will serve as the new crew for China’s space station, the Tiangong, as both the U.S. and China have announced plans to send astronauts to the moon as early as 2025 and 2030, respectively.
CHINA TO LAND ASTRONAUTS ON MOON BEFORE 2030, OFFICIALS SAY
Chinese astronauts Gui Haichao, Zhu Yangzhu and Jing Haipeng of the Shenzhou-16 manned space mission attend a see-off ceremony at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
The Shenzhou-16 spacecraft launched from northern China’s Gobi Desert Tuesday morning en route to the Tiangong Space Station – a more than six-hour trip.
The newly arrived crew will conduct spacewalks, send and receive cargo and other spacecraft, and carry out scientific experiments during their five-month mission, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The launch showcases China’s space capabilities amid an increasingly competitive attitude toward the U.S.
CHINA’S SPACE OPERATION POSES AN ‘INCREDIBLE THREAT,’ US MUST ADAPT, SPACE FORCE GENERAL SAYS
A Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying Shenzhou-16 spaceship with three astronauts aboard blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
Chinese leader Xi Jinping has said that the “space dream is an important part of the dream to make China stronger,” per the report.
Liu Bojian, a research assistant at the National University of Singapore who studies China’s activities in space, said the inclusion of a civilian in this trip highlights that Beijing anticipates opening space travel to the private sector.
“China is trying to make sure that in the next two decades, it will have enough well-trained astronauts, both experienced and young, to prepare for even larger missions, such as landing on the moon, and even on Mars,” said Liu via the WSJ.
A Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying Shenzhou-16 spaceship with three astronauts aboard blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on May 30, 2023 in Jiuquan, Gansu Province of China. (VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
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Both China and the U.S. see space as the next frontier and proficiency in intergalactic travel would lead to a competitive edge.
In March, the White House requested a $30 billion annual budget for the Space Force, an increase from the previous year.