Tuesday, June 11, 2013

China Launches Three Into Space Aboard Shenzhou-10

People's Republic of China has successfully launched three "taikonauts" into space Tuesday, in its fifth manned space launch since 2003.

In its 15-day journey, the spacecraft will dock with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1 twice, once through automatic operation and the other manual, and a lecture will for the first time be given on board of the assembled orbiter to a group of students on the ground.

Two men – Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang – and one woman, Wang Yaping are aboard the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, which was launched by a Long March-2F rocket around 5:38 p.m. local time.

A see-off ceremony was held at the center hours before the launch. Chinese President Xi Jinping, who just returned from his visit to the United States, attended the ceremony and extended good wishes to the three astronauts.

"The mission's members carry a space dream of the Chinese nation, and represent the lofty aspirations of the Chinese people to explore space," said Xi who watched the launch process in Jiuquan.

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