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Launch of Shenzhou-18 crewed spaceship a complete success
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2024-04-26

China on Thursday launched the Shenzhou-18 manned spaceship that will send three taikonauts to the orbiting Tiangong space station for a six-month mission.

The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasted off at 8:59 p.m. (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

About 10 minutes after the launch, the Shenzhou-18 spaceship separated from the rocket and entered its designated orbit. The crew members are in good shape and the launch is a "complete success," the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced.

While in orbit, the Shenzhou-18 spaceship is scheduled to make a fast, automated rendezvous and docking with the space station combination. The Shenzhou-18 crew will rotate with the Shenzhou-17 crew in orbit.

The Shenzhou-18 crew members are Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu, with Ye as the mission commander.