Photo taken on June 3, 2013 shows the assembly of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and the Long March-2F carrier rocket at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. The assembly was transported to the launch site on Monday morning, which marks the manned Shenzhou-10 mission entering the final phase of its preparation. The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, will carry three astronauts and dock with Tiangong-1, target orbiter and space module. (Xinhua/Liang Jie)
JIUQUAN -- The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft is scheduled to be launched in the middle of June, a spokesperson for China's manned space program announced on Monday.
The mission has entered the final phase of preparations, with the modified model of the Long March-2F carrier rocket and spacecraft being transported to the launch site on Monday morning, said the spokesperson.
The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, will carry three astronauts and dock with the Tiangong-1, a target orbiter and space module sent to space in 2011.
During the mission, astronauts will also teach a lesson to a group of students via a video feed, said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson said that after propellant was injected into the Shenzhou-10, the launch platform carrying the spacecraft and carrier rocket was safely transported out of the assembly and testing plant to the launch tower on Monday morning.
The spokesperson added that the functional examination and the joint tests of the spacecraft, carrier rocket and ground facilities will be conducted at the launch site in the next few days.
The Shenzhou-10 will dock with the Tiangong-1, where astronauts will conduct space science experiments and offer lessons to students back on Earth. The space module entered the appropriate docking orbit at the end of May and is now running normally, the spokesperson added.
Preparations are going smoothly for all eight major systems of the missions. Astronauts have finished training sessions, including special simulated training on the ground for space experimentation and teaching during the mission, said the spokesperson.