China Announces Crew for Tomorrow's Shenzhou 10 Launch

China Announces Crew for Tomorrow's Shenzhou 10 Launch

China will launch a three-person crew tomorrow, June 11, to its Tiangong-1 space station on the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft.  The crew includes two men and one woman.

Launch is scheduled for 5:38 pm Beijing time (5:38 am Eastern Daylight Time; 09:38 GMT) from the Jiuquan launch center using a Long March-2F rocket.

The crew are Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang, and Wang Yaping.   Wang will become China’s second woman astronaut.

Shenzhou-10 crew.  Photo credit:  Xinhua

It is a 15-day mission that includes two docking tests with Tiangong-1, one manual and one automatic.   Medical and technical tests and a lecture by the crew while they are inside Tiangong-1 to a group of students are planned.

Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 and the unoccupied Shenzhou-8 spacecraft performed docking tests with it that fall.   In 2012, the small space station (8.5 metric tons) hosted the three-person Shenzhou-9 crew, which included China’s first woman in space, Liu Yang.  They remained in space for just under two weeks.


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