BEIJING (AP) — China is preparing to launch a new three-person mission to complete work on its permanent orbiting space station. The China Manned Space Agency announced Saturday that the spaceship is due to blast off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert at 10:44 a.m. Sunday. The Shenzhou 14 crew will spend six months on the Tiangong station, during which they will oversee the addition of two laboratory modules to join the main Tianhe living space that was launched in April 2021. The mission includes veteran Commander Chen Dong, Liu Yang, who was China’s first female astronaut to reach space in 2012, and first-timer Cai Xuzhe. China’s space program launched its first astronaut into orbit in 2003.
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