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China launches its longest crewed space mission see pics

  • China space mission, Shenzhou spacecraft, Tiangong, Chinese astronauts, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    China's Shenzhou 11 spaceship onboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket takes off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China

    Ahead of the launch, one astronaut shouted: "We are ready! Please give instructions!" in front of dozens of people dressed in colorful dress representing China's ethnic minorities, in footage shown prominently on Chinese TV.

  • China space mission, Shenzhou spacecraft, Tiangong, Chinese astronauts, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, right, and Chen Dong, left, wave farewell to the crowd before getting on Shenzhou 11 spacecraft

    The commander-in-chief of the manned space program, Gen. Zhang Youxia, replied: "Proceed!" followed by blaring marching music as the astronauts boarded a bus to take them to the launch pad.

  • China space mission, Shenzhou spacecraft, Tiangong, Chinese astronauts, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    China's Shenzhou 11 spaceship onboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket takes off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

    China, Russia and the United States are the only countries that have independently launched humans intospace, and while the others have more experience in manned space travel, China's military-backed program has made methodical progress in comparatively short time.

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