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Crossover: Spaceship will be launched early Monday morning


10-16-2016 17:17 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

For more details, we are joined by CCTV's Wu Lei, who is in China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Q1. The spaceship will be launched tomorrow morning. How are the two astronauts preparing in these 24 hours before lift-off?

Q2. What missions have been included in their month-long trip to space? After this, what's next for China's space exploration program?

Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong are the two astronauts on board the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. Jing Haipeng will serve as the commander of the mission, and it will be Jing's third spaceflight following his Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008 and Shenzhou-9 mission in 2012.

"Being an astronaut is my career, and flying in space is my job and also my dream. Although the job itself is full of challenges, even dangers to my life, I really love and enjoy my job," Jing said.

With a safe flight record of 1,500 hours as an air force pilot, Chen Dong became part of China's second group of astronauts in May 2010, and was selected as a crew member of the Shenzhou-11 mission this past June.

"After six years of training, I finally got the job. The timing is just right for me. I'm very lucky to pair up with Jing Haipeng and I'm confident in conducting the mission," Chen said.

China's longest stay in space was carried out by the astronauts of Shenzhou-10. That lasted 15 days. Now, the plan for the astronauts of Shenzhou-11 is to complete a 30-day residence in orbit. That is why the number of astronauts had to be reduced, to extend their time in space.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese manned space program said the Shenzhou-11 will be launched at 7:30 a.m. Beijing time Monday.

After docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab, a record number 14 experiments will be carried out in the Tiangong-2. These experiments will cover cutting-edge technologies like space materials science and space life science.

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