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Shenzhou VI marks start of manned space experiments
Updated: 2005-10-10 13:23

China's planned launch of Shenzhou VI vessel, its second manned space mission, signals that the country begins to carry out aerospace experiments with real human participation, said a senior space engineer here Sunday.

Wang Yongzhi, chief general designer of China's Manned Spaceflight Program, said that the Shenzhou VI vessel will enable astronauts to do scientific experiences in space, which offers a unique vacual, highly radiant and low gravity environment to carryout scientific studies.

China became the third nation to succeed in manned space flight when it launched the Shenzhou V in October 2003, carrying sole astronaut Yang Liwei around the earth 14 times, who did not leave his seat in the return module during his one-day flight.

The second manned space mission is expected to be launched in afew days to come, carrying for the first time two astronauts for afive-day flight.

Wang said that following Shenzhou VI's flight, China has greater plans such as astronauts' space walk, the docking of capsule with space module, launch of space lab and setting up a permanent space lab.

"Manned space flight, most complicated and difficult aerospace project, demonstrates a nation's scientific research and economic strength," he said. "It's a major means to expand human living space and tap and use space resources."

"China will never be a superpower, but as the world's biggest developing country with 1.3 billion people, it should have a place in aerospace development and make due contributions."

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