China set to launch manned mission into space

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Three Chinese astronauts will be aboard the Shenzhou-17 spaceflight mission, which will be blasted into space on Thursday, TRT World reported.

It is the sixth crewed spaceflight by China.

The mission is set to be launched at around 11.14 a.m. local time (0314GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China.

According to Beijing-based daily Global Times, this space mission “will form the youngest Shenzhou crew since the construction of the China Space Station.”

China’s own space station – Tiangong space station – has already been completed and is operational since last December.

China first established its space program back in 1992.

According to the agency, the Shenzhou-17 spacecraft is expected to dock with the Tianhe core module after nearly 6.5 hours following the launch.

It will remain and work in space until April 2024.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of China’s space agency, also said Beijing was “ready to invite foreign astronauts to participate in China’s space station flight missions.”

Regarding China’s plans on manned lunar landing by 2030, Lin said Beijing will “include foreign astronauts in the country’s moon-landing mission once the necessary conditions are met.”

Since establishment of the space program, Lin said China has “never pursued ’space hegemony’ … rather, we have consistently upheld the peaceful use of space.”

AMK/PR

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