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China launches crewed spacecraft Shenzhou-12 in historic mission

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Reuters

By Carlos Garcia and Shubing Wang JIUQUAN, China (Reuters) – China launched a spacecraft on Thursday carrying three astronauts to part of a space station still under construction for the longest stay in low Earth orbit by any Chinese national. A Long March 2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-12, or “Divine Vessel”, bound for the space station module Tianhe blasted off at 9:22 a.m. Beijing time (0122 GMT) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu province. Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 missions – four of which will be crewed – needed to complete China’s first full-fledged …

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