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China to Launch Manned Spacecraft

The Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, Long March-2F rocket, and escape tower wait to be transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, June 9, 2012.
China's official news agency says the country's space agency will launch a Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft sometime in mid-June to dock with the orbiting Tiangon-1 space lab module.

A spokesperson told the Xinhua news agency Saturday that a rocket carrying the spacecraft was moved to a launch pad in China's desert northwest. State media reported earlier that the mission will involve three astronauts.

Xinhua said that after the space rendezvous, the astronauts will move into the space station, where they will perform scientific experiments before returning to Earth. Beijing has not said how long the mission will last.

China's last manned space mission took place in September of 2009.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.