See-off ceremony held for taikonauts of Shenzhou XVIII mission

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-25 18:11
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Crew members of the Shenzhou XVIII mission Ye Guangfu (right), Li Cong (center) and Li Guangsu are seen at the see-off ceremony for the Shenzhou XVIII crewed space mission on Thursday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China. [Photo by Wang Jiangbo/For China Daily]

JIUQUAN -- A see-off ceremony for three taikonauts of the Shenzhou XVIII crewed space mission was held on Thursday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

At the command of Xu Xueqiang, commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, taikonauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong, and Li Guangsu set off at 6:10 pm (Beijing Time).

As of Thursday, the Shenzhou XVII crew has stayed in the orbiting Tiangong space station for nearly six months and is preparing for the arrival of the Shenzhou-18 crew.

The Shenzhou XVIII spaceship is slated to be launched at 8:59 pm Thursday (Beijing Time), and the new crew will stay in orbit for six months.

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