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China space mission set for late September: report
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Sept 7, 2008

Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

China's third manned space flight, which will feature China's first attempted space walk, will blast off in late September, state media reported.

The launch of the Shenzhou VII will take place "at an appropriate time between September 25 and 30," Xinhua news agency reported late Saturday.

Xinhua quoted an unnamed spokesman at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province, from where the mission will take off.

The launch schedule has been changed several times, with previous Chinese state media reports suggesting an October or November launch.

Three astronauts will be on board, with one of them conducting China's first space walk -- which will be broadcast live, the report said.

China successfully launched its first man into orbit, Yang Liwei, in 2003, making it the third country after the former Soviet Union and the United States to put a man in space.

It sent two more astronauts into orbit in 2005 on a five-day mission.

Xinhua did not say how long the Shenzhou VII mission would last.


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Early Blast-Off Tipped For Spacewalk Mission
Beijing, China (SPX) Sep 04, 2008
The planned launch date of Shenzhou VII, China's third manned spacecraft, may be brought forward from next month to sometime this month, Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po newspaper said. A source reportedly told the paper the launch date will be between Sept 17, the closing day of the Beijing Paralympics, and Oct 1, China's National Day. "Now it is fairly certain it will be before National Day ... read more

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