China plans to launch the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft from the Jiuquan Space Launch Centre in China at 1037 GMT on 16 June. The craft is to carry three taikonauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang, and Liu Yang. Jing Haipeng is to command the crew and will be making his second flight into space having flown on the Shenzhou 7 mission in 2008. Liu Yang will be the first Chinese female in space.
The craft is expected to conduct an approximate 13 day mission, docking with the Tiangong 1 craft that has been in orbit since September 2011. At the end of the mission the crew will return to Earth landing in Inner Mongolia.