June 17 2021 8:15am

China launches spacecraft carrying 1st crew for new space station

China launched the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft on Thursday and it was the first-ever crewed mission to China’s Tiangong space station. Three astronauts were sent to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national. Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged space station. Construction began in April with the launch of Tianhe, the first and largest of three modules.

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