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Shenzhou 6 Orbital Module Still Working In Space

Beijing (XNA) Oct 21, 2005
The Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center has changed the orbiting altitude of the Shenzhou-6 capsule. This will allow the orbital module to continue working in space for six more months, during which a series of experiments will be carried out.

The center fired the orbital module's engines two times. The capsule then found its target altitude of 355 kilometers above the earth.

The new path is quite different from the previous orbiting altitude around the earth, and will allow the craft to be much more flexible in space. The capsule will change its position as it orbits the earth, so its solar energy battery will always be facing the sun.

Liu Junze, Aircraft Controlling Office Director, Beijing Aerospace Command & Control Center, said, "This is an important event that will test the capability of the orbital module, to keep working for a long time in space. It will also lay the foundation for space station designs in the future."

According to the plan, the capsule will have to change its altitude several times in the next six months.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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More Room For Shenzhou
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Oct 20, 2005
Apart from an increase in the crew size and flight time, the most significant advancement of the Shenzhou 6 mission was the use of the Orbital Module. At last, China's astronauts could enjoy the additional living space this cylindrical unit provides.

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