Shenzhou XVII crew ready for lift off

By Zhao Lei at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center | | Updated: 2023-10-26 08:35
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo (R), Tang Shengjie (C) and Jiang Xinlin attend a see-off ceremony at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China on Oct 26, 2023. A see-off ceremony for three Chinese astronauts of the Shenzhou XVII crewed space mission was held on Thursday morning at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, according to the China Manned Space Agency. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/]

The three astronauts in the Shenzhou XVII mission, China's 12th manned spaceflight, headed to the launch tower after a brief see-off ceremony early on Thursday morning in front of their residential building at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China's Gobi Desert.

All in spacesuits, mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo, Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie and Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin reported to General Xu Xueqiang, commander-in-chief of the country's manned space program, that they are ready for the coming mission and asked for permission to embark on the flight.

Xu gave his permission before the crew saluted him and all participants to the event. Then the astronauts boarded their coach to the launch tower.

Many workers and residents at the Jiuquan center stood along the road and hailed the astronauts as their vehicle passed them.

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