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China To Launch First Female Astronauts
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (XNA) Nov 22, 2010

Watch a CCTV interview with Deputy Director Yang Liwei.

After the Opening Ceremony, Yang Liwei, the Deputy Director of the Chinese Manned Space Flight Project, as well as the nation's first astronaut to travel into space, says a second crew of astronauts are now undergoing training. He adds that the country will send its first female astronauts into space by 2012.

Yang said, "The second crew will include 5 men and 2 women. They are taking professional training step by step, according to our plan, to prepare the docking process with the space station and other missions about the space laboratory. I think people can see our crew in the Shenzhou 9 and 10 spacecraft in 2012."

HK, mainland to build joint space lab
HONG KONG, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) Wednesday announced the establishment of the Joint Laboratory specializing in Precision Engineering Projects for use in Space.

President of CAST Yang Baohua has led a six-member senior delegation to sign the pact with Acting President of PolyU Philip Chan on 15 Nov.

Under the agreement, CAST will donate some sophisticated equipment, including a vibration platform and vacuum device for mechanical and thermo testing, which worth at 5 million RMB (about 751,879 U.S. dollars) for the new lab.

In addition, both parties will jointly invest 10 million RMB of research funding for the lab in the next five years, and the research work will be carried out under the supervision of an experts committee.

This is the second important deal signed by PolyU and CAST within six months' time. During PolyU President Timothy Tong's visit to Beijing in June, the university and CAST also signed an agreement to formalize research collaboration between two parties relating to China's lunar exploration program.

Established in 1968, CAST is the most important research base for the advancement of space technology and equipment on the Chinese mainland. It is an integral unit of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

PolyU said it will establish one or two special Research Institutes to support the further advancement of space research, and explore the possibility of turning its space technology for civilian use in the future.

Source: Xinhua News Agency


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Two Telescopes For Tiangong
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Nov 18, 2010
In 2011, China will launch Tiangong 1, a small space laboratory. Later that year, China will perform its first docking test in space when the unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft docks with Tiangong 1. In 2012, Shenzhou 9 will be launched, taking the first crew to the space laboratory. Television footage of Tiangong 1 has given us a fairly clear view of its exterior, but yielded little insight i ... read more

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