A 203-feet-high (62 meters) Long March 2F rocket was vertically transferred to the pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert early on Thursday (Oct. 7).
Atop the rocket is the Shenzhou 13 spacecraft that will carry the three astronauts into orbit. Visible at the top of the payload fairing is an escape launch system that can rapidly carry the spacecraft away from the rocket in case of an emergency early in the flight.
If correct, that would see astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu fly to the Tianhe space station module, which launched in April and has so far hosted one, three-month-long crewed mission. This would be Ye's first flight; Wang would become the first female astronaut to visit Tianhe.