Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo meet members of the media behind a glass wall before the Shenzhou-12 mission to build China's space station, at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo are seen inside the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft as China launches the spacecraft via the Long March-2F Y12 carrier rocket on its first manned mission to build the country's space station from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, in this still image taken from a video June 17, 2021. CCTV via Reuters TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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People wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming speak before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo meet members of the media behind a glass wall before the Shenzhou-12 mission to build China's space station, at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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People wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming are seen before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming salute before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo meet members of the media behind a glass wall before the Shenzhou-12 mission to build China's space station, at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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The Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and three astronauts, takes off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission
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Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming wave before the launch of the Long March-2F Y12 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft and the three astronauts, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center for China's first manned mission to build its space station, near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Updated 17 June 2021

Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission

Three Chinese astronauts flew to an unfinished space station in China's first crewed mission since 2016, expanding the country's already growing near-Earth presence and challenging U.S. leadership in orbital space.