Shenzhou XIII space mission to begin on Saturday

By ZHAO LEI in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center | | Updated: 2021-10-14 15:04
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Crew on board the Shenzhou XIII spacecraft - Zhai Zhigang (C), Wang Yaping (R) and Ye Guangfu (L). [Photo provided to]

China plans to launch the Shenzhou XIII manned spacecraft early on Saturday morning, carrying three astronauts who will stay inside the country's Tiangong space station for six months, one of the lead officials in the country's manned space program said.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, said at a news conference on Thursday afternoon at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China that the mission will also feature the first spacewalk by a Chinese woman.

It is expected to become the longest space journey by Chinese astronauts, doubling the time of their peers in the Shenzhou XII mission.

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