China’s Shenzhou 11 blasts off on space station mission

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China has launched two men into orbit in a project designed to develop its ability to explore space, media reports.

The astronauts took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China.

They will dock with the experimental Tiangong 2 space lab and spend 30 days there, the longest stay in space by Chinese astronauts.

The astronauts on this latest mission were Jing Haipeng, 49, who has already been in space twice, and 37-year-old Chen Dong.

Their spacecraft, Shenzhou-11, took off from at 07:30 local time on Monday (23:30 GMT), lifted by a Long March-2F rocket.

The astronauts will spend the next month conducting experiments on the Tiangong 2.

Source: National information agency of Tajikistan