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China launches 3 astronauts to new space station

China launches 3 astronauts to new space station

Beijing, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) Three Chinese astronauts were heading to the country´s recently launched space station to spend approximately three months in the Tianhe core module. The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft will launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert in northern China.

As planned, the launch is expected to occur at 9:22 a.m. local time Thursday, which equates to 6:22 p.m. PT on Wednesday. You can watch along by jumping to the bottom of this article, where a CCTV livestream is available.

Now it is expected that after entering orbit, the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft will automatically dock with Tianhe core module.

It is the seventh manned mission in Chinese history and its members are command officers and engineers. Two of them will exit the ship and the third will wait inside.

The crew will stay for three months in cosmos and will be focused on repairing, maintaining and assembling the space station.

China sent these professionals after the Tianzhou-2 cargo ship docked with Tianhe core module last month to hand over supplies, equipment and fuel.

Chinese government is planning to launch a total of 10 manned missions to train in the assembly and construction of complex and large spacecraft in orbit, as well as to perform long-duration flights near the Earth and large-scale experiments.

pgh/Pll/agp / ymr

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