Missions aims to set a new record for the length of time spent in space by Chinese astronauts

China launched a three-person crew for a six-month mission aboard its space station that is planned at setting a new record for the length of time spent in space by Chinese astronauts as the country moves toward completing the orbiting structure, AP reports.

The Shenzhou-13 spaceship carrying the three astronauts was launched by a Long March-2F rocket early Saturday morning, in China. It is expected to complete docking with the Tianhe module within the next six hours, beginning the mission that will continue the work of the first three-person crew that spent 90 days aboard. Those crew members conducted two spacewalks and deployed a 10-meter (33-foot) mechanical arm before returning to Earth in mid-September.

The new crew includes two veterans of space travel. Pilot Zhai Zhigang, 55, and Wang Yaping, 41, the only woman on the mission, and Ye Guangfu, 41, who is making his first trip to space.

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