China to launch next crewed mission to build space station

China to launch next crewed mission to build space station.

BEIJING, TGO: China will launch a spacecraft on Sunday carrying three astronauts to the core module of the unfinished Chinese space station, where they will work and live for six months as construction enters advanced stages, according to reports.

During a news conference on Saturday, a China Manned Space Agency official told reporters that a Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft is set to blast off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the northwestern province of Gansu at 10:44 local time (02:44 GMT).

Shenzhou-14 will be the third of four crewed missions – and the seventh of a total of 11 missions – needed to complete the space station by the end of the year.

China began constructing its three-module space station in April 2021 with the launch of Tianhe – the first and biggest of the station’s three modules. Following Shenzhou-14, the remaining two modules – the laboratory cabins Wentian and Mengtian – will be launched in July and October, respectively.