China launches Shenzhou-10 space mission

China Tuesday launched its longest manned space mission so far when the Shenzhou-10 lifted off from the Jiuquan space centre in the Gobi Desert, state television images showed.

The rocket ascended trailing a vast column of flame, CCTV showed. The three astronauts on board, who include China's second woman in space, are due to spend 15 days in orbit.