China prepares for next manned mission

2024-04-17 Editor:Li Yan

China's next manned mission, the Shenzhou XVIII, is scheduled to be launched in coming days to transport three astronauts to the Tiangong space station, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The Shenzhou XVIII crew spacecraft and its carrier, a Long March 2F rocket, were moved to the service tower on Wednesday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China's Gobi Desert, the agency said in a brief news release, adding that the spacecraft and the rocket will undergo final checks in the next few days.

The Shenzhou XVIII will become China's 13th manned spaceflight and the first crewed mission to visit Tiangong this year.

The crew members, whose names have yet to be disclosed, will take over the massive orbital outpost from their peers in the Shenzhou XVII — mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo and crew members Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin and Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie — who arrived on Oct 26. By the end of April, the Shenzhou XVII team will have stayed in orbit for six months.

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