China launches manned spacecraft
China launched the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft on Monday morning to transport two astronauts — 49-year-old Jing Haipeng and 37-year-old Chen Dong — to the Tiangong II space laboratory.
The core tasks of the Shenzhou XI mission are to test rendezvous and docking technologies for the country’s planned space station, to verify the life-support capability of the spacecraft-space lab combination as well as conduct scientific research and test engineering experiments, according to Wu Ping, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency.
China is the third country in the world that has independently fulfilled manned spaceflight following the former Soviet Union and the US. (Photo 1)