China to launch spacecraft on June 11

Updated: 2013-06-10 16:06


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JIUQUAN - The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft will be launched at 5:38 p.m. Tuesday, said China's manned space program spokeswoman on Monday.

The spacecraft will take three astronauts, two male and one female, into the space, said Wu Ping, the program's spokeswoman, at a press conference at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

They are Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping who is female, Wu said.

Wang, from a farmer's family in east China, is the second female astronaut in China's manned space mission and the first one born in the 1980s.

The spacecraft will travel in the space for 15 days and go through two docking tests with the orbiting space lab module Tiangong-1, one automatic and the other manual, Wu said.

Besides medical and technical tests, astronauts will give a lecture to a group of students on the ground inside the Tiangong-1, introducing the weightless condition, Wu said.

The Tiangong-1 space lab has been in a stable condition and ready for docking tests and receiving astronauts, she said.

"The launch ground and all control systems are ready. Astronauts are in good and stable condition," she said.

The upgraded Long March-2F carrier rocket has been fueled since Monday afternoon, Wu said.

This mission aims to further test technologies of docking and supporting astronauts' stay in space and try new technologies related to the construction of space station, she said.

Food for astronauts, as well as waste processing facilities, will be improved, she said.

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