21:42 GMT28 July 2021
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    The launch marks the first such Chinese event since September 2016, when space lab Tiangong 2 was placed into orbit, with the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft later delivering two astronauts.

    The Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship is being launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Thursday, and is expected to carry three astronauts into orbit.

    The crew is set to participate in the construction of a new Chinese space station - an endeavour reportedly slated to be completed by the end of 2022. The astronauts are expected to stay in orbit for three months. 

    This is China's first manned spaceship mission in five years.

    Follow Sputnik's live feed to find out more.

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    mission, spaceship, space, China
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