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Second Shenzhou launch imminent?
Posted: Sun, Dec 31, 2000, 11:39 PM ET (0439 GMT)
China may conduct the second test launch of a manned spacecraft in early January, several sources claimed recently. Go Taikonauts, a web site that covers the Chinese space program, reported late last week that China is planning an unmanned test launch of Shenzhou-2 within two weeks. That report was backed up Sunday by an article in Wen Wei Po, a pro-Beijing newspaper published in Hong Kong, which stated that the launch would take place in early January. The launch will be the first for the spacecraft, superficially similar to Russia's Soyuz spacecraft, since its maiden flight in November 1999. Plans for that flight were reported in Wen Wei Po a week before the launch, Go Taikonauts noted, adding credence to the new report. The first Shenzhou flight that will carry people is not expected until later in 2001 or 2002.
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