China unveils Shenzhou-14 crew for space station mission


JIUQUAN, June 4: Chinese astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe will carry out the Shenzhou-14 spaceflight mission, and Chen will be the commander, announced the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) at a press conference Saturday.

Chen once participated in the Shenzhou-11 crewed spaceflight mission and Liu in the Shenzhou-9 mission, and Cai is a newcomer to space, said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA, at the press conference.

The trio will stay in orbit for six months, Lin said.

The Shenzhou-14 crewed spaceship will be launched with a Long March-2F carrier rocket at around 10:44 a.m. Sunday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

The Shenzhou-14 mission will complete the construction of the Tiangong space station, with a basic three-module structure consisting of the core module Tianhe and the lab modules Wentian and Mengtian.

During their stay in orbit, the Shenzhou-14 crew will witness the two lab modules, Tianzhou-5 cargo craft and Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship dock with the core module Tianhe. They will rotate with the Shenzhou-15 crew in orbit, and return to the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in December, Lin said.

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