With latest mission, China renews space cooperation vow

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Shortly ahead of sending a new three-person crew to its space station, China on Friday renewed its commitment to international cooperation in the peaceful...
BEIJING (AP) — use of space.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said sending humans into space was a "common cause of mankind," and China would "continue to extend the depth and breadth of international cooperation and exchanges" in crewed spaceflight and "make positive contributions to the exploration of the mysteries of the universe."

China is to send two men and one woman to spend six months aboard the Tianhe core module of its space station, with liftoff from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northwestern China scheduled for shortly after midnight Saturday.

It will be China's longest crewed space mission, a new milestone for a program that has advanced rapidly in recent years.

China was excluded from the International Space Station largely due to U.S. objections over the Chinese program's secretive nature and close military ties, prompting it to launch two experimental modules before starting on the permanent station.

U.S. law requires congressional approval for contact between the American and Chinese space programs, but China is cooperating with space experts from countries including France, Sweden, Russia and Italy. Chinese officials say they look forward to hosting astronauts from other countries aboard the space station once it becomes fully…
Associated Press
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