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1st Ld: China to launch new manned spacecraft

BEIJING, Feb. 28 — China's new spacecraft will be launched sometime between June and August, a spokesperson for the office of the country's space manned program said in a statement released Thursday.

Three Chinese astronauts will board the Shenzhou-10, which is expected to dock with the orbiting lab module Tiangong-1, according to the statement.

The Tiangong-1 was sent into space in September 2011. It later docked with the Shenzhou-8 unmanned spacecraft in November 2011, and with the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft in June 2012.

After years of testing, the new mission will mark the first formal application of the manned space transportation system, the statement said.(PNA/Xinhua)

HBC/UTB

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