The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) is looking for a way to send its cosmonauts to Tiangong, China's space station, launching rockets from locations in Russia or French Guiana.

The plans were announced during a press conference during the Global Space Exploration Conference (Glex), which took place last week in St. Petersburg, Russia.


During the conversation with journalists, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, said that Russia is discussing with China about the realization of manned trips to Tiangong.

"We are planning to send our astronauts to the Chinese station," said Rogozin, in response to a question about the possible launch of load or crew to the Chinese space station.

Russia is considering using the former Soyuz launch pad to send crews to Tiangong. Credit: File

“The Chinese station has a different pitch, not the same as the ISS (International Space Station) has. It is accessible from the Vostochny Cosmodrome and also accessible from the Kourou launch site,” he continued. Operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Kourou base is in French Guiana, South America.

“We explored the feasibility of updating the launch pad for Soyuz at Kourou Cosmodrome to enable the launch of manned missions to the Chinese orbital station”.

first crew

China sent your first crew to Tiangong last June 16th. Taikonauts were launched to the outpost's central module in a Long March 2F rocket from Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert. The crew of the mission, which was named Shenzhou-12 and will last for three months, are Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo.

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The Chinese space station is expected to be completed by 2022 and have a permanent crew for at least 10 years. As of 2024, it could become the only active space station in low-Earth orbit, as the future of the ISS remains unclear after the end of Joe Biden's rule. Furthermore, Russia, which is involved in the ISS, is considering give up the partnership from 2024.

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