China launches manned rocket to space station | Space

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China launched a rocket carrying three astronauts to its space station on Thursday to replace three others who have been aboard since last October, the agency in charge of the country’s human spaceflight program said.

A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-18 spacecraft lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest province of Gansu at 8:59 p.m., according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The three male astronauts of the People’s Liberation Army will remain on the Tiangong space station for six months, perform various in-orbit space science and application experiments and take multiple space walks, the agency said.

Photo taken April 24, 2024, shows a Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-18 spacecraft covered on a launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northwest province of Gansu. (AP/Kyodo)

The T-shaped space station with two lab modules was completed in 2022. Beijing aims to achieve a manned lunar landing by 2030.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday that China aims to complete a lunar research base by 2035.

Meanwhile, Beijing is set to launch the unmanned probe Chang’e-6 in the near future to collect samples from the far side of the Moon, marking the world’s first attempt at such an endeavor.

In 2020, an unmanned Chinese space probe returned to Earth with the first lunar soil…

Source english.kyodonews.net

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