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Waspie_Dwarf

Launch preps for next Chinese manned mission

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Launch preps begin for next Chinese human spaceflight

The Long March rocket and Shenzhou spacecraft for China's next manned space mission are being readied for blastoff as soon as June from the country's Jiuquan launching base.

Three astronauts will fly into space on the Shenzhou 9 mission, which will be China's fourth human spaceflight.

Shenzhou 9 could carry China's first female space flier, according to state media. One official Chinese website indicated the mission would include a woman.

The identities of the Shenzhou 9 crew members have not been announced, and the mission's duration remains secret.

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Tiangong 1 Ready To Meet Shenzhou 9

After Shenzhou 8 departed in November 2011, controllers raised the orbit of Tiangong 1 to preserve it from potential re-entry brought about by the air drag that causes all low orbits to decay.

In order to conserve propellant, they chose an altitude (about 375 kilometres) that would use the same air drag to bring the orbit down to the standard 335 kilometre Shenzhou operating height for the spring of 2012.

Originally, China seemed to be aiming for a Shenzhou 9 launch sometime around May. Then, mid-March, a decision appears to have been made to put off the launch to June/July.

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Posted (edited)

China to carry out manned space flight

China has announced it will carry out a manned space flight at some point in the middle of June.

A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft has been moved to a launch pad in the north-west of the country.

According to state news agency Xinhua, it will carry three astronauts - possibly including a woman - to the Taingong 1 space station module.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
Typo.

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China's female astronaut quandary

China's space programme is preparing to make its own small piece of history by putting its first female astronaut into space, and China's internet has been buzzing with talk of some unusual selection criteria.

At a launch site in the desert the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft is being readied. It may blast off this weekend, and one of the three crew is likely to be a woman.

In the year that the Communist Party wants to showcase its achievements ahead of a once-in-a-decade leadership change in the autumn, you might expect China's national media to be in overdrive about the event.

Not yet, it seems. The People's Daily's brief announcement with photographs about the two women who have been shortlisted for the mission was noticeably brief.

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China to send first woman astronaut Liu Yang into space

China has named the female astronaut who on Saturday is set to become the nation's first woman in space.

Liu Yang, 33, an air force pilot, will join two male colleagues on board the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, state-run news agency Xinhua says.

The spacecraft will dock with the Tiangong 1 space station module, as China bids to establish a permanent space base in orbit.

Liu will work on the mission with astronauts Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang.

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