Shenzhou-11 blasts off for China's longest-ever space mission

President Xi Jinping, who is currently visiting India, sent a message of congratulations for the successful launch

Shenzhou-11 blasts off for China

China on Monday launched Shenzhou-11 spacecraft from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert, carrying two astronauts as part of its longest-ever manned space mission.


Shenzhou-11 will dock with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory where the astronauts will live for 30 days and conduct a series of tests and experiments. According to reports, the mission forms part of China’s plans to build a full space station by 2022.


The astronauts on this latest mission were two-time space veteran Jing Haipeng, 49, and 37-year-old Chen Dong.


Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will spend 30 days in space after docking with space laboratory Tiangong-2, which was sent into orbit last month, where it is currently positioned 393 kilometers from Earth.


President Xi Jinping, who is currently visiting India, sent a message of congratulations for the successful launch.


“I hope of our comrades uphold the spirit of China’s manned space missions and do well in their subsequent tasks ... and make new contributions enabling us to become a strong space power,” the message said.