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China confirms crew, launch date for next Shenzhou mission
Posted: Fri, Jun 15, 2012, 7:42 AM ET (1142 GMT)
Long March 2F rolled out for Shenzhou-9 launch (Xinhua) China will launch its next human space mission on Saturday evening with three people, including China's first female astronaut, on board. A Long March 2F rocket will launch at 6:37 am EDT (1037 GMT, 6:37 pm Beijing time) Saturday and place the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft into orbit. The Shenzhou-9 crew is composed of Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang, and Liu Yang, who will be the first Chinese woman in space. Jing Haipeng will also become China's first two-time astronaut, having been on the crew of Shenzhou 7 in 2008. The spacecraft will dock with the Tiangong 1 module that China launched last September. The three astronauts will work in the module and perform experiments for an unspecified period before returning to Earth.
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