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Third Shenzhou launch expected soon
Posted: Thu, Mar 7, 2002, 7:43 AM ET (1243 GMT)
Shenzhou illustration by Simon Zajc Chinese officials said Wednesday that "final preparations" are underway for the third test flight of the Shenzhou spacecraft, AFP reported. The AFP article cited statements made by a Chinese space official, Hu Shixiang, published by the China News Service. Hu said that the launch, expected for months, was delayed by "product quality" issues that have now been corrected. Hu did not give a date for the launch; China has been secretive about the previous two Shenzhou launches, not announcing them until after they took place. Shenzhou is a prototype for a manned spacecraft. Hu said that China will not rush the Shenzhou program, saying the first launch of a human would not take place before next year at the earliest.
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