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Shenzhou-3 Back On Earth Monday
Beijing - Mar 31, 2002
The landing of Shenzhou-3 will be "delayed" until Monday, Wen Wei Po, a pro-Beijing newspaper in Hong Kong reported Saturday.
Sources at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) in the northwestern Gansu Province told Wen Wei Po that Shenzhou-3 (SZ-3), would land on Monday (Apr. 1) at a designated location in the Steppes in Inner Mongolia.
The newspaper reported on Wednesday (Mar. 27) that SZ-3 would land on Saturday.
The two-day "delay" in the landing is now in agreement with the date provided by the scientists whose experiments are aboard the spacecraft. These scientists told China Space News, a Chinese-language weekly aerospace publication, also on Wednesday that the mission would last 7 days.
The recovery team is busy preparing for the return of SZ-3 at the landing site.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua also reported that mission controllers had successfully executed the first SZ-3 orbit maintenance yesterday (Mar. 29).
At 6:15 p.m. Beijing Time (1015 UTC) when SZ-3 began its 61st orbit, the aft maneuvering thrusters fired for about 8 seconds to perform the first orbital adjustment of the mission.
The event was displayed in realtime as a 3-D animation on the large screen at the front of BACCC.
Shortly thereafter the Yuanwang-3 tracking vessel (YW-3, Yuanwang means "Long View"), which stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, sent the confirmation telemetry to BACCC.
BACCC reported that the mission was proceeding well with all equipment and science experiments performing nominally.
After four days and 22 hours in space, SZ-3 is in an orbit 330.2 km x 337.2 km with an inclination of 42.4 deg and a period of 91.2 minutes.
SZ-3 carries a total of 44 science and utility payloads on board, which cover scientific disciplines on material science, life science, Earth observations, and optical remote sensing of the terrestrial environment and space environment at the Earth's upper atmosphere.
After the Descent Module returns to Earth, the Orbital Module will remain in space to conduct experiments for about six months. The main task will be studying the space environment, atmospheric composition and density, and make Earth observations.
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Shenzhou-3 Proceeds Smoothly Halfway Through Mission
Beijing - Mar 28, 2002
The unmanned test flight of Shenzhou-3 (SZ-3) is proceeding nominally, sid officials at the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center (BACCC) in a mission status report issued via the Xinhua News Agency Wednesday.
China's President Attends Launch
Beijing - Mar 26, 2002
President Jiang Zemin watched the launch of spacecraft Monday night at the launch centre in Northwest China's Gansu Province. At the launch site, Jiang extended his congratulations to scientists and technologists, as well as servicemen of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). After watching the lift-off, Jiang said the successful launch showed the Chinese people's spirit of constantly striving to become stronger.