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    China's Tiangong 2 space lab is launched on a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, in China's Gansu province

    China to Carry Out Some 30 Space Launches in 2017

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    China plans to carry out some 30 space launches in 2017, local media said Tuesday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) The launches include the Chang'e 5 unmanned lunar exploration mission atop a Long March 5 lift vehicle due to take place in late 2017, the China News Service agency reported, citing the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

    The mission is set to be China's first to return with lunar soil samples.

    China also plans to launch a Tianzhou automated cargo spacecraft atop a Long March 7 rocket to supply the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, which was launched in late 2016.

    The Tiangong 2 space laboratory is designed to probe life support technologies for Beijing’s future space station and is manned by a crew of two. The Long March 7 is due to be launched in April.

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