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China plans manned space launch in June 2013

Published on Nov 10, 2012 7:07 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China is aiming to launch its next manned space mission as early as June next year, state media reported on Saturday, as the country steps up its ambitious exploration programme.

The Shenzhou-10, with three crew members, is aiming for a primary launch window in June, Mr Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of the manned space programme, told China National Radio.

Mr Niu, speaking on the sidelines of China's 18th Communist Party Congress that kicked off on Thursday in Beijing, said officials had identified a back-up launch window for July or August.

He said one of the three astronauts would likely be a woman.

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