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Chinese rocket on its way to space

Two men, 55-year-old Zhai Zhigang and 41-year-old Ye Guangfu, as well as a woman named Wang Yaping, 41, have gone up to test what it’s like to spend more time in Tianhe, a lodging unit on the Chinese space station Tiangong.

China is not part of the international cooperation that resulted in the creation of the International Space Station (ISS), among other things. And it has several reasons, including the strict rules of the United States against contacts with the secret dictatorship.

But China is now indicating that it would like more cooperation.

“We welcome astronauts from other countries to our space station,” Lin Xiqiang, a senior member of the China Space Agency, said at a pre-launch press conference.

– When the space station is completed and work begins on it, aliens will visit it.

So far, Tiangong is under construction, and this is the second manned expedition there. But it will be a more modern construction than the International Space Station, the construction of which began in the 1990s.

The boarding took place with a Chang Zheng 2F (“Long March”) missile, the night before Saturday local time, Friday evening Swedish time. The three astronauts travel in the Shenzhou-13 capsule, and the launch took place from the Jiuquan Space Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert.

The departure was greeted with tones from a military orchestra. Those at the site who could follow the launch sang patriotic salutes, AP news agency reported.

Astronauts Ye Guangfu, Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping before departure. Photo: Chinatopix via AP/TT

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