China to launch manned space mission in June

June 3, 2013
A Shenzhou-9 rocket blasts off from the Jiuquan space base, northwest China's Gansu province in the remote Gobi desert on June 16, 2012. China will launch three astronauts into space this month to dock with an experimental space-module, state-media said, marking the latest step towards the country's aim of building a space station.

China will launch three astronauts into space this month to dock with an experimental space-module, state-media said Monday, marking the latest step towards the country's aim of building a space station.

The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft has entered the "final stage of preparations," for a launch "in the middle of June," China's official said, citing a spokesperson for the country's .

The craft will dock with the Tiangong-1 space-laboratory, Xinhua said, making the mission a crucial step on the way to China's goal of building a full space station capable of housing astronauts for extended periods.

Astronauts on board will "teach a lesson to a group of students via a video feed" while in orbit, after they launch from a base in northwest China, Xinhua said.

China's space capabilities lag behind those of the US and Russia, but it has for its space program, including plans to land a man on the moon and build a station orbiting earth by 2020, according to an official white paper.

China first sent a human into space in 2003. The 2012 Shenzhou-9 launch became China's longest-ever and was notable for including the nation's first woman astronaut among its three-.

Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rising global stature, growing technical expertise, and the ruling Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

The Asian superpower has been ramping up its manned activities as the United States, long the leader in the field, has scaled back some of its programmes, such as retiring its space shuttle fleet.

Explore further: China to launch space station's first module

Related Stories

China's spacecraft comes back to Earth

November 17, 2011

China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou VIII returned to Earth on Thursday, state media reported, after completing two space dockings that have pushed forward the nation's ambitious space programme.

China to launch manned spacecraft in June

June 9, 2012

China will launch a spacecraft this month to conduct its first manned space docking, state media said Saturday, the latest step in a plan aimed at giving the country a permanent space station by 2020.

China 'plans manned space launch' in 2013

November 10, 2012

China is aiming to launch its next manned space mission as early as June 2013, state media reported Saturday, as the country steps up its ambitious exploration programme.

Recommended for you

Dawn spacecraft sends sharper scenes from Ceres

August 25, 2015

The closest-yet views of Ceres, delivered by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, show the small world's features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres' tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures.

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

August 27, 2015

We only have one example of a planet with life: Earth. But within the next generation, it should become possible to detect signs of life on planets orbiting distant stars. If we find alien life, new questions will arise. ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Gigel
not rated yet Jun 03, 2013
Ambition is a capability of its own, I hope the West wakes up and gets plenty of it soon.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.