China launches Shenzhou-16 mission to Chinese space station

China on Tuesday sent three astronauts to its now fully operational space station as part of crew rotation, according to state media, in the fifth manned mission to the Chinese space outpost since 2021.

The spacecraft, Shenzhou-16, or "Divine Vessel," and its three passengers lifted off atop a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert in northwest China at 9.31 a.m. (0131 GMT).