China prepares rocket for Shenzhou-14 crewed mission

(ORDO NEWS) — China is preparing to launch three astronauts to the Tiangong space station for a critical phase of building an orbital outpost.

The Long March 2F rocket was flown to the site of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert in the early hours of May 29.

The rocket, 62 meters long, was vertically moved 1500 meters from the assembly building to the launch pad, at a speed of no more than 30 meters per minute.

The Shenzhou-14 launch vehicle and spacecraft were assembled and stored upright at the pad for more than 280 days as they were on standby in case of an emergency at the space station.

The combination of the Long March 2F and Shenzhou is equipped with a solid-state engine-mounted payload fairing bailout system.

The launch time and date have not been announced publicly, but the launch is expected to take place around June 5 Beijing time.


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