China has launched two taikonauts on a space mission
“You are going to travel in space to pursue the space dream of the Chinese nation,” said Fan Changlong, a vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, as China’s state news agency Xinhua reported.
The Shenzhou capsule was launched aboard a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of northern China’s Gobi Desert.
For this mission, the astronauts will dock their spacecraft with the Tiangong 2 space station within two days, conduct experiments in medicine and space-related technologies, and test systems and processes in preparation for the launching of the station’s core module in 2018.
The Tiangong 2 is expected to be completed and begin operating fully in 2022.
The launch is China’s sixth manned mission, the previous longest being about two weeks.