China unveils Shenzhou-12 astronauts for space station construction
Photo/Xu Bu (Xinhua)
Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo will carry out the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceflight mission, and Nie will be the commander, announced the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) at a press conference Wednesday.
This will be the first manned mission during the construction of China's space station, and the crew will stay in orbit for three months, said Ji Qiming, director assistant of the CMSA.
Nie, the most experienced among the three, was in the Shenzhou-6 mission in 2005 and the Shenzhou-10 mission in 2013.
It will be Liu's second spaceflight, as he once participated in the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008, which featured a landmark spacewalk.
Tang will be a new comer to space. He became a member of the second batch of Chinese astronauts in 2010.
Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu will be the backup crew, Ji said.