BEIJING, June 12 (RIA Novosti) - China plans to launch its third manned space flight in October, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.
The Shenzhou-VII spacecraft will be manned by a crew of three Chinese astronauts or 'taikonauts,' two of which who will carry out China's first spacewalk.
Six people have been chosen for the mission - three main crew members and three back up crew.
China's manned space program started in 1999 with the Shenzhou V spacecraft successfully launching China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, into orbit in 2003. This was followed by a five-day manned mission in 2005.
The Shenzhou VII spacecraft is due to be launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China's northwest province of Gansu. Pre-launch preparations have started at the site.