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Aerospace & Defense Industries

China's finished space station adds spark to global race above skies

Cutting-edge Tiangong set for full operation while U.S. scrambles to extend ISS

The Shenzhou-15 spacecraft took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on Tuesday. (Photo from China Aerospace Science and Technology's social media)

BEIJING -- This week's launch of a fresh crew to China's Tiangong space station marked another milestone in the country's march toward becoming a power in space, even as age and internal conflict hamper its Western counterpart, the International Space Station.

The Shenzhou-15 spacecraft docked with Tiangong on Wednesday morning for the first crew rotation at the station, with the three newly arrived astronauts switching off with the three who came up in June on the Shenzhou-14. The new crew will stay on the orbiting platform for half a year, conducting medical and other scientific research.

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