China Plans Next Manned Space Mission

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Following its "ground-breaking" success, China is now preparing to send two taikonauts to space in the autumn of this year. The two Chinese spacemen will be delivered to space through its self-designed Shenzhou VI spaceship, and will orbit the Earth for up to five days.

"The spaceship's re-entry module, orbital capsule and propulsion module are being equipped, and preparation work for the launch is in full swing", said Sun Laiyan, Director of China's National Space Administration.

China's first manned space mission happened in October 2003, in which the Shenzhou V spaceship circled the Earth fourteen times and landed safely by parachute on the northern plains of China. The success of the misson aroused strong patriotic feeling across the country, portraying Yang Liwei — China's first astronaut ever — as a great national hero.

Within the next few years, China also plans to land on the Moon.

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