China to send 3 male astronauts to its space station in June

BEIJING (AP) — China says three male astronauts will blast off next month for a three-month mission on China’s new space station. The plans for the station’s first crew were confirmed by space program official Yang Liwei, who also was China’s first astronaut in orbit. The main living area of the Tianhe space station was launched in April and a supply ship docked with it on Sunday. The station’s first crew will conduct maintenance work and scientific operations and will practice spacewalks. Yang didn’t give the flight date or the astronauts’ identities. China’s space agency plans a total of 11 launches through next year to deliver two more station modules, supplies and the astronauts who will live and work on board.