China sent a new crew to its Tiangong space station on Thursday as part of a new mission in its growing space program. China plans to send a man to the moon by 2030 as part of this mission.
Shenzhou-17 took off from the Jiuquan launch site in northwestern China at 11:14 a.m. local time, carrying three astronauts with the youngest average age since the construction of the space station.
At the farewell ceremony on Thursday morning, the astronauts said goodbye to the observers before leaving for the preparation of the rocket launch. “The rocket, carrying the spacecraft Long March-2F, took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Center in northwest China,” China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
The team is led by Tang Hongbo. He is on his first return mission to the space station. Tang Shengji and Jiang Jinglin are also with him. This is their first space mission. The average age of the all-male crew is 38 years. They are the youngest in the space station mission.