Three Chinese astronauts have blasted off for a six-month mission to complete assembly work on its permanent orbiting space station.
China launches mission to complete space station assembly
China on Sunday launched a new three-person mission to complete assembly work on its permanent orbiting space station.
The Shenzhou 14 crew will spend six months on the Tiangong station, during which they will oversee the addition of two laboratory modules to join the main Tianhe living space that was launched in April 2021.
Their spaceship blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert at 10:44am local time atop the crewed space flight program’s workhorse Long March 2F rocket.
Commander Chen Dong and fellow astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe will assemble the three-module structure joining the existing Tianhe with Wentian and Mengtian, due to arrive in July and October. Another cargo craft, the Tianzhou-3, remains docked with the station.