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China plans to send three astronauts into space aboard its Shenzhou-9 spacecraft this month.
China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft will make a manned flight this month, the country's space agency has announced.
According to Xinhua, the spacecraft and its carrier rocket have already been moved to a launch pad at the Jiuquan space center in northwest China.
It is expected to take off "sometime in mid-June," a space agency official told the state news agency.
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Three astronauts will be aboard. The crew might include female astronauts, said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander of China's manned space program.
If so, they would be the first Chinese women to go into space, according to Agence France Presse.
The astronauts will dock Shenzhou-9 manually with China's orbiting Tiangong-1 space laboratory, where two of them will board and conduct experiments.
It will be the first time a manned spacecraft has docked with Tiangong-1, which has been in orbit around earth since Sept. 2011. China hopes the space lab will help it one day develop its own space station.
This month's flight will be China's fourth manned launch since it became the third country to send a man into space in 2003, the BBC said.
In December, China said it was studying the possibility of landing one of its astronauts on the moon.
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