China to send 3 astronauts to new space station

Astronauts plan to spend 3 months on Tiangong station.

China to send 3 astronauts to new space station

China on Wednesday said a spaceship carrying three astronauts will be launched on Thursday, according to state-run media.

The Shenzhou-12 manned spacecraft will be launched into space at 9:22 a.m. local time [1:22 am GMT].

The astronauts – Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo – plan to spend three months on the Tiangong station.

In April, China launched the core module for the T-shaped space station as it eyes its completion by next year.

On the successful launch of the module on April 29, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China's space station construction had entered the full implementation stage, laying a solid foundation for the follow-up tasks.

The space station has a designed lifespan of 10 years, but appropriate maintenance and repairs could extend its life to more than 15 years.