Chinese Spacecraft Blasts Off with 3 Astronauts

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

JIUQUAN, China China's latest manned spacecraft has blasted off on a 15-day mission to dock with a space lab.

The Shenzhou 10 capsule carrying three astronauts lifted off as scheduled at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT) Tuesday from a launch center on the edge of the Gobi Desert.

It is China's fifth manned space mission and its longest. The spacecraft will transport the crew to the Tiangong 1, which functions as an experimental prototype for a much larger Chinese space station to be launched in 2020. The craft will spend 12 days docked with the Tiangong.

On the heels of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield's wildly popular YouTube videos from the International Space Station, the Chinese crew plans to deliver a series of talks to students from aboard the Tiangong.

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