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China confirm Shenzhou 6 plans
Posted: Thu, May 13, 2004, 8:28 AM ET (1228 GMT)
Long March 2F launch of Shenzhou 5 (Xinhua) Chinese officials this week announced that the next manned Chinese space flight will take place in the fall of 2005 and will likely carry two astronauts. Qi Faren, chief designer of the Shenzhou spacecraft, told the Xinhua news agency that the Shenzhou 6 mission is currently planned for launch in fall 2005, about two years after the launch of China's first manned mission, Shenzhou 5. Previous reports had suggested that China would attempt their next manned mission in 2005, but those reports were never officially confirmed. During the Shenzhou 6 mission the spacecraft's two-man crew will leave their seats to perform experiments in the spacecraft's orbital module. By comparison, Yang Liwei remained in his seat in the Shenzhou 5 return module during its one-day mission. A later manned mission, Shenzhou 7, is planned for "sometime before 2010" and would include the first Chinese EVA.
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