China ready for manned spaceflight in mid-June

With all the hubbub centered on SpaceX and its successful mission to carry cargo to and from the International Space Station, China is set to make some news of its own. China wasn't invited to the ISS party, and launched its own space station module called the Tiangong 1 a while back. China has announced that in the middle of June it will be performing its fourth manned spaceflight.

This will be the first manned spaceflight for China since 2008 and the mission will send three astronauts to the orbiting Tiangong 1 space station module. China successfully docked an unmanned craft by remote control to its orbiting space station module last year. The three astronauts that will head to the orbiting space station module might include a woman.

The orbiting module that the astronauts are expected to visit is one part of China's vision for its own orbiting full-size space station. China expects to complete the entire 60-ton manned space station by 2020. The rocket expected to carry the three astronauts to the space station module is a Shenzhou 9 and has been moved to launch pad in the Northwest China.

[via BBC]