China Launches Manned Spacecraft Shenzhou 13 to National Orbital Station
© STRThis photo taken on October 7, 2021 shows a Long March-2F carrier rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, being transported to the launching area at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the country's northwestern Gansu province.
BEIJING (Sputnik) - Chinese launch vehicle Changzheng-2F with manned spacecraft Shenzhou-13" was launched to the Tiangong orbital station, which is currently under construction, there are three taikonauts on board, the launch is broadcast by the Central Television of China.
The launch took place in accordance with the schedule at 0:23 Saturday local time (16:23 GMT Friday) from the Jiuquan cosmodrome in Gansu province in northwestern China.
The crew of the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft included Zhai Zhigang, who in September 2008, being the commander of the Shenzhou 7 crew, became the first Chinese to conduct a spacewalk. Together with him, female taikonaut Wang Yaping, a member of the crew of the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft, and Ye Guangfu, for whom the upcoming flight will be the first in his career, is sent into orbit.
All three were part of the Shenzhou 12 backup crew, which was the first on the Chinese space station and spent three months there. The Shenzhou 13 crew will spend at least 180 days at the station.