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China Launches Shenzhou-2
Posted: Tue, Jan 9, 2001, 5:17 PM ET (2217 GMT)
Shenzhou illustration by Simon Zajc A Chinese rocket has launched Shenzhou-2, the second test flight of the prototype a piloted spacecraft. The Long March 2F spacecraft launched the spacecraft Wednesday at approximately 1 am Beijing time (12:00 pm EST, 1700 GMT Tuesday) from the Jiuquan launch site in northwestern China, according to reports from Xinhua and AFP. The spacecraft is said by Xinhua to be an improved version of the first Shenzhou spacecraft launched in November 1999 and is "basically identical" to a manned spacecraft, although on this flight it is only carrying a number of unspecified animals and microbial cells. The spacecraft is expected to stay in orbit for several days before landing in China. At least one more test flight is expected after this one before China attempts sending humans in space.
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