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China to Launch Shenzhou-11 Manned Spacecraft on Oct. 17
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2016-10-17

JIUQUAN, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft will be launched at 7:30 a.m. Monday Beijing Time, a spokesperson from China's manned space program said Sunday.

The spaceship will transport two male astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong into space, said Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office, at a press conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

The mission will be carried out with a Long March-2F carrier rocket, Wu said.

The spacecraft will dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 within two days, and the astronauts will stay in the space lab for 30 days, she said.

After that, Shenzhou-11 will undock from Tiangong-2 and return to Earth within one day, Wu said.

The mission aims to transport personnel and materials between Earth and Tiangong-2, and examine rendezvous, docking and return processes.

During the mission, the spacecraft will be a module that when docked with Tiangong-2 will form a complex. The feasibility of the space complex to support astronauts' life, work and flight missions will be tested throughout the mission, Wu said.

Other objectives include aerospace medical experiments, space science experiments and in-orbit maintenance with human participation, as well as other activities, she added.