China will launch its first manned mission to its orbiting space laboratory in mid-June, according to state media reports and the country’s human spaceflight agency.
They will be using a March 2F rocket to launch three astronauts aboard a Shenzhou 9 capsule for China’s first manned space docking at the mini-space station Tiangong-1.
“The Shenzhou 9 will perform our country’s first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space lab module,” – Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s manned space program.
“It means China’s spacecraft will become a genuine manned shuttle tool between space and Earth. It can send human beings to space stations or space labs, This will be a significant step in China’s manned space flight history.” – Zhou
China’s Shenzhou 9 mission will mark the fourth human spaceflight for the country. China is the third country to achieve human spaceflight after Russia and the United States. The launch of Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei in 2003 was the country’s first human spaceflight.