11th June 2013

Three Chinese astronauts were launched into space this morning to dock with the Chinese Space Lab Tiangong 1. The spacecraft Shenzhou 10 was launched from a remote location in the Gobi desert at 9.38am (5.38pm Beijing time). The fifteen day mission is China’s fifth manned space mission since 2003 and will see 48 year old Nie Haisheng command 47 year old Zhang Xiaoguang and 33 year old Wang Yaping.

Once docked the astronauts will carry out a series of experiments and tests on the orbiting space lab. Yaping who is China’s second female astronaut is hoping to make a similar buzz about space as Cmdr Chris Hadfield by providing lecturers from space throughout the fifteen day mission.

China which is not part of the international space station is hoping to launch a new slightly larger space lab- Tiangong 2, in 2013.

Watch the video of the Shenzhou 10 launch here: