As part of an ambitious plan to complete the space station by the end of next year, China will send three people into space tomorrow for the first manned mission in nearly five years.
China Space Administration official Ji Qiming told reporters yesterday that China plans to launch the Shenzhou 12 manned spacecraft from Jiuquan, Gansu tomorrow.
He added that the crew will be composed of astronauts Nie Haisheng (56 years old), Liu Boming (54 years old) and Tang Hongbo (45 years old).
The mission will be led by Ney, a former pilot who will become the oldest national astronaut to enter space. This is his third space trip after the 2003 Shenzhou 5 and 2013 Shenzhou 10 missions.
Shenzhou 12, which means “shen ship”, will be the third of the 11 missions required to build the Chinese space station.
China launched Tianhe into the sky in late April this year. Tianhe is the first and the largest of the three modules. Construction of the space station will begin this year.
The three crew members plan to stay in Tianhe for three months, which means Tianhe.