China to send three men into space for seven days next time
BEIJING (AFP) Oct 28, 2003
Next time China shoots off a manned space craft it will carry three astronauts on a seven-day mission in orbit, state media said Tuesday, citing a leading space engineer.

China's second manned space flight will take place within two years, but the launch could be moved up, the Chengdu Evening News cited Xu Dazhe, vice general manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, as saying.

Compared with Shenzhou V, which lifted China's first man into orbit earlier this month, Shenzhou VI will have more interior space to accommodate three astronauts rather than one, Xu said.

After having accomplished a manned space flight, the next priority for China will be to try a space walk and eventually set up its own station, Xu was quoted as saying.

His remarks seemed to contradict statements by the chief engineer of the Shenzhou V rocket, who said China would launch two astronauts into orbit next time.