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China’s manned spacecraft moved to launch site ahead of Shenzhou-12 mission: Space Agency

The Shenzhou-12 mission, expected to be launched no earlier than June, is set to send three cosmonauts to the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station.

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Beijing: A Shenzhou manned spacecraft and a Long March 2F carrier rocket have arrived at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China ahead of the launch of the Shenzhou-12 manned space mission, the Chinese Manned Space Program said on Thursday.

The Shenzhou-12 mission, expected to be launched no earlier than June, is set to send three cosmonauts to the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station.

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“All development work on the manned spacecraft, which will carry out the launch of the Shenzhou-12 mission, as well as on the Long March 2F carrier rocket, have already been completed, they were safely transported the other day to the Jiuquan spaceport,” the Chinese agency said in a statement.

The agency added that the entire infrastructure at the launch site was currently in good condition and all systems involved in the mission were being prepared for the launch. The mission’s crew is currently undergoing training.

The exact date for the mission’s launch was not specified.

In late February, a Long March 5B carrier rocket was transported to a launch site in southern China ahead of a mission set to lift the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station into orbit. The spacecraft’s launch will be the first in a series of 12 missions to assemble China’s first space outpost — Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace — in lower Earth orbit by 2022.

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