Shenzhou IX spacecraft to be launched Saturday

Updated: 2012-06-15 16:00


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JIUQUAN, Gansu - The Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft will be launched at 6:37 pm Saturday, according to a decision made by China's manned space docking program headquarters.

Three astronauts, two male and one female, will board China's fourth manned spacecraft to fulfill the country's first manned space docking mission.

They are Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang who is female, according to the headquarters.

Shenzhou IX spacecraft to be launched Saturday

China's three astronauts Liu Wang, left, Liu Yang and Jing Haipeng prepare for their mission on the Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft in Jiuquan, Gansu province, June 12, 2012. [Photo/]

The upgraded Long March-2F carrier rocket will start to be fueled on Friday afternoon.

The launch ground and all control systems are ready. Astronauts are in good and stable condition and preparing for their space journey, the headquarters said.

A press conference will be held Friday afternoon and the spacecraft crew will meet the press.

Shenzhou IX spacecraft to be launched Saturday

Astronaut Liu Yang will become China's first woman in space as she and two other astronauts will board the Shenzhou IX spacecraft and lift off at 6:37 pm on Saturday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, announced the country's manned space program. [Photo/Xinhua]