Chinese Space Mission Will Last 15 Days

Image: China National Space Administration
This is the patch worn by  astronauts on the Shenzou 10. Image: China National Space Administration

A Chinese space capsule, carrying three astronauts, blasted off on Tuesday. It is on a 15-day mission.

The Shenzhou 10 capsule will dock with a space lab called Tiangong 1.

While on the Tiangong 1, the Chinese crew plans to deliver a series of educational talks to children.

China’s education initiative is designed to spark kids’ interest in space exploration.

The astronauts will also conduct dozens of experiments while they are in space.

This will be the longest manned space mission China has undertaken.

The Shenzhou lifted off from a launch centre located at the edge of the Gobi Desert.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, watched the launch and wished the three astronauts—two male and one female—success.

He told them they are “the pride of the Chinese people, and this mission is both glorious and sacred,” according to state media.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Teaching Kids News has covered many stories about Chris Hadfield over the last year. One of his interests was education and working with students. Today’s article mentions that the Chinese astronauts who blasted off on Tuesday are also interested in working with students. Why do you think astronauts have taken an interest in sharing their space experiences through education?

Reading Prompt: Reading Unfamiliar Words
The Chinese words included in todays article can be hard to pronounce. By using graphophonic cues (syllables within longer words, similarities between words with known spelling patterns and unknown words), saying these words correctly can be made easier. What strategies did you use in order to pronounce these words correctly?

Primary, Junior, & Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and rapidly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including: graphophonic cues (OME, Reading: 3.2).

Grammar Feature: The Long Dash (–)
The long dash is a punctuation mark that shows readers that an additional piece of information is being included. The long dashes seperate the extra info from the rest of the sentence. For example, today’s article includes the following sentence with two long dashes,

China’s president, Xi Jinping, watched the launch and wished the three astronauts—two male and one female—success.

The extra information in this sentence refers to the genders of the astronauts. (You can tell that it’s extra information because the sentence still make sense without it.) To seperate this extra information, the author use long dashes on either side.

Write three sentences about space that include extra information. Place a long dash before and after the extra information to show that it is seperate from the rest of the sentence.