Chinese astronauts celebrate Lunar New Year

(ORDO NEWS) — Festive red adorns China’s Tiangong space station in the latest footage of the Lunar New Year celebrations in orbit and the start of the Year of the Tiger.

Astronauts on the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft are the first to celebrate the holiday in orbit, according to the China National Space Administration. “They decorated the space station’s main module with traditional Chinese paper crafts, spring festival poems… and red lanterns,” the state-owned CCTV provider said in a recent update.

“I wish you all a Happy New Year, good health, good luck and a prosperous Year of the Tiger,” Commander Zhai Zhigang said in a CCTV footage translated into English by the media. Together with Zhigang at the festival in the main module of the Tianhe station

Chinese New Year falls on the new moon between January 21 and February 20, which means that this year the holiday falls on Tuesday (February 1). It is one of the most important holidays in the country and is often celebrated (on Earth) with fireworks or firecrackers.

Shenzhou-13 launched on October 15 from Jiuquan Space Center in the Gobi Desert aboard a Long March 2F rocket. The mission has already broken one Chinese record: Wang became the first woman to live aboard the main module.

The cosmonauts are scheduled to spend about six months in orbit, twice as long as the Shenzhou 12, the only ship to date to Tianhe with an all-male crew.

So far, the crew has continued to build the EVA station, held a live broadcast of a scientific lecture for Chinese students in December, and manually operated the cargo ship in January to test emergency procedures and docking.

However, China’s increased activity in space and concerns over cybersecurity have raised concerns from both the Biden administration and senior NASA officials, who believe the country is aiming for space supremacy in its crewed launches alongside recent missions to the Moon and Mars. .

A 2011 Congressional directive called the “Wolf Amendment” prohibits NASA from using federal funds for direct bilateral cooperation with the Chinese government. Thus, China is not a partner in the International Space Station project and does not cooperate with NASA on robotic missions.


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