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China launches three astronauts to space station

A Chinese Long March rocket with astronauts in a Shenzhou-16 spaceship blasts off in northwestern China. Associated Press/Photo by Mark Schiefelbein

China launches three astronauts to space station

An aerospace professor is headed to space Tuesday—the first Chinese civilian astronaut. Most Chinese astronauts have been members of the Chinese Communist Party’s military branch. While at the Tiangong space station, the astronauts will conduct scientific tests and technical research for five months. They will briefly overlap with the previous crew of three who have been at the station for six months.

How does this fit into China’s larger goals? Chinese officials plan to land on the moon by 2030 and expand the Tiangong space station. Reminiscent of the space race, the United States aims complete another mission to the Moon by 2025.

Dig Deeper: Read Heather Frank’s report in Beginnings about why the United States is going to the Moon.

Johanna Huebscher

Johanna Huebscher is a student at Bob Jones University and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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