Shenzhou-18 crew: astronauts Li Guangsu, Ye Guangfu, Li Cong.

China’s next human spaceflight is targeting an April 25 liftoff of the three-person Shenzhou-18 crew to the country’s space station They will be launched at 8:59 p.m. Beijing Time on Thursday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

Chinese astronauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu will carry out the Shenzhou-18 mission with Ye as the commander.

Ye was crew member of China’s Shenzhou-13 mission, with both Li Cong and Li Guangsu making their first flight, selected from the country’s third-batch of taikonauts.

Shenzhou-18 logo.
Image credit: CMS

Six month stay

The soon-to-be-launched crew are scheduled to stay in orbit for about six months and return to the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in late October.

According to China Central Television (CCTV), the new crew will perform two to three spacewalks and implement six cargo outbound deliveries through the space station’s cargo airlock module.

The now orbiting Shenzhou-17 trio will meet with the Shenzhou-18 crew prior to that threesome returning to Earth on April 30 at the Dongfeng landing site.

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