China Launches First Astronauts to Its Space Station

China launched the first astronauts to its space station on Thursday.

The three astronauts — Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo — were taken up on a Shenzhou-12 spacecraft which was launched atop a Long March 2F rocket at around 9:22 a.m. China time.

Beijing has made space exploration a top priority as China looks to challenge the U.S. in a number of areas of technology.

GUANGZHOU, China — China launched the first astronauts to its self-developed space station on Thursday.

The move marks a major step as the world’s second-largest economy looks to boost its space capabilities and challenge the U.S.

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