China Plans Manned Space Mission For June 2013
State media in China has reported that the country is planning a manned space mission in 2013, following a successful launch in 2012.
A three-person crew will be sent into orbit around Earth, comprising of a woman and two men, according to a senior official in charge of China’s manned space programme. The mission will likely be named Shenzhou-10.
The plan closely resembles the launch and safe return of Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, and two colleagues: Liu Wang and Jing Haipeng, who blasted off in June 2012 aboard Shenzhou-9 and took part in the country’s first manual space docking mission.
The country is not a member of the International Space Station project, and instead plans to build its own orbital space station by 2020.
According to Niu Hongguang, the deputy commander of China’s manned space programme, 2013’s mission is planned for June, but back-up launch windows have been set out for July or August.