China has launched its Shenzhou-15 spacecraft from the Gobi Desert, carrying astronauts to its newly-built Tiangong space station. Three astronauts will live on the station for six months, before being replaced by another crew.
The spacecraft Shenzhou-15 or “Divine Vessel” lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert in north-west China on Tuesday.
The mission is the last of 11 required to assemble the station that is expected to operate for around a decade and run experiments in near-zero gravity. The new crew will focus on installing equipment and facilities around the space station. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.