China Launches Its Longest-Ever Crewed Space Mission

Oct 17, 2016 at 5:24 PM ET

China has successfully launched what will be its longest-ever crewed mission. The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft is carrying two astronauts and is the country’s first manned mission in three years. It will take two days for the astronauts to reach the Tiangong-2 space station. They will stay there for 30 days, which is twice as long as the existing Chinese human spaceflight endurance record set in June 2013. The astronauts will conduct a number of medical and space science experiments. This mission is part of China’s plan to develop its own permanent space station.