Chinese Astronauts Begin Month-Long Stay in Space
China launched two astronauts into space on Monday.
Their launch marks the beginning of China's longest human space flight yet.
A carrier rocket sent a Shenzhou-11 spacecraft with astronauts Chen Dong and Jing Haipeng into space. The rocket was fired from the Jinquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert.
Chen is 37 years old. This is his first time in space. But Jing has done this before — it is his third space flight. He will turn 50 years old while orbiting the Earth.
Their trip is off to a good start. That is what Morris Jones told VOA. Jones is an independent space expert from Australia.
"So far so good. We saw a live broadcast on Chinese television, and the rocket seemed to perform flawlessly during the flight. We had in-cabin video, we saw the solar panels deploy on the spacecraft, so far it looks like a completely nominal mission."
After two days in Earth's orbit, the spacecraft was to link up with China's space laboratory, called the Tiangong-2. The name means "Heavenly Palace 2" in Mandarin Chinese. The lab was placed into orbit last month.
The astronauts will spend 30 days on the Tiangong-2. They plan to perform scientific and spacecraft-related experiments and test systems for a future space station.
The Tiangong-2 laboratory will not be part of that space station.
Morris Jones says China plans to launch a special module around 2018. A module is part of a space vehicle that can work independently. He says that piece will be at the center of a new space station.
"The main goal of Tiangong-2 is to practice the techniques and the technologies that they'll be using to build and operate that final space station."
The Chinese space station will be built mostly by machine. Jones said that China will send up a module of the space station, and it will connect with another part already in space. This is different from the way the International Space Station was built. But it is similar to the way Russia built an early space station.
There will be some jobs that require astronauts. For example, they will deploy some pieces of equipment, like solar panels. There also will be robot arms on the module to help secure the connections.
China hopes to have the space station completed by 2022. It is expected to operate for at least 10 years.
The Chinese space station will be different from the International Space Station (ISS). Jones says the ISS is very large and very complex.
"China will have a fairly impressive space station. But it will be a great deal less than the international space station. It will have less than half its volume, and a lot less complexity. But considering the fact that this is China's first-ever space station it's quite an impressive achievement."
China also plans to land a rover vehicle on Mars by 2020. Until now, China had completed a total of five manned space missions And, in 2003, it successfully landed a probe on the moon.
I'm Anne Ball.
1.carrier rocket 运载火箭
Obviously, a missile requires greater precision in the guidance system than a carrier rocket.
2.space flight 太空飞行
The future for manned space flight is looking increasingly uncertain.
3.solar panel 太阳能板
Compared to the existing solar panel, it has many advantages.
4.live broadcast 现场直播
Did you watch the live broadcast of the women's basketball match yesterday?
1."So far so good. We saw a live broadcast on Chinese television, and the rocket seemed to perform flawlessly during the flight.
So far so good 目前一切顺利
So far so good, everybody is participating and contributing.
You really influenced my way of thinking and living, and so far so good.
2.After two days in Earth's orbit, the spacecraft was to link up with China's space laboratory, called the Tiangong-2.
link up with 与...相连接
The space shuttle will link up with the space station this afternoon.
I will link up with other border troops.
运载火箭将载有航天员景海鹏与陈冬的神舟11号飞船顺利送入太空 。运载火箭是在戈壁沙漠的酒泉卫星发射中心升空的 。
今年37岁的陈冬是首次参加载人飞行任务 。而景海鹏之前有过航天经历，此次是其第三次进行太空飞行 。景海鹏将在太空度过自己50岁生日 。
莫里斯·琼斯（Morris Jones）对美国之音称，此次太空之旅有个好的开端 。琼斯是澳大利亚的一位独立太空专家 。
他说，“目前来说一切顺利 。通过中国电视台我们看到了现场直播，运载火箭发射过程非常顺利 。透过机舱视频，我们还看到飞船上安装的太阳能板，目前来看，此次太空飞行任务是极具象征意义的 。”
这艘飞船两天内将在地球轨道与天宫二号空间实验室完成对接 。上月，天宫二号实验室刚被发射入太空 。
航天员将在天宫二号实验室里生活30天时间 。期间他们将完成科学及飞船的相关试验，还要检测未来空间站的测试系统 。
琼斯介绍称，中国计划2018年发射一艘特制太空舱 。该太空舱可以独立运作属于飞船的一部分 。他表示，该太空舱将安置于新空间站的中心 。
中国空间站将主要利用机器建造 。琼斯表示，中国将为空间站发射一艘太空舱，让其与太空中的实验室对接 。虽然不同于国际空间站的建造手法，但是却与俄罗斯早期建造空间站的方式类似 。
有的太空任务需要航天员执行 。例如，部署太阳能板等设备 。太空舱还安装了机械臂协助对接 。
中国计划2022年完成空间站的建造 。该空间站的使用寿命至少10年 。
中国空间站不同于国际空间站 。琼斯称，国际空间站极其庞大、复杂 。
琼斯称，“中国将会建造一个令世人惊诧的空间站，但是比国际空间站的规模小很多 。体积不到国际空间站的一半，内部构造也相对简单 。但是这是中国建造的首个空间站，无疑是一项惊人的成就 。”
中国还计划2020年将火星车发射到火星 。迄今为止，中国已完成五次载人航天任务 。2013年，中国发射的探测器成功在月球着陆 。