JIUQUAN, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- China on Saturday launched the crewed spaceship Shenzhou-13, sending three astronauts to its space station core module Tianhe for a six-month mission.
The three astronauts are Zhai Zhigang, the commander and China's first spacewalker, Wang Yaping, the first Chinese female astronaut to visit China's space station and carry out extravehicular activities, and Ye Guangfu, a newcomer to space.
They are expected to set a new record for China's manned space mission duration, exceeding the three months kept by the Shenzhou-12 crew from June to September this year.
The spaceship, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gobi Desert, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
After entering orbit, the Shenzhou-13 spaceship will dock with the in-orbit combination composed of the space station core module Tianhe and the cargo crafts Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3.