The rocket carrying China’s Shenzhou XIII spacecraft was transferred to the launchpad in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Thursday, as preparation gathered pace for the country’s next manned mission to continue assembling a new space station.
The Long March-2F Y13 rocket is undergoing tests before the launch. All systems in the launch center are normal as of now, said the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The Shenzhou XIII will carry three Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, to the space station and stay there for half a year before returning.
The Chinese astronauts’ long-term stay in the space station and frequent interaction with the public have inspired extensive support and a vision for space exploration in the country.