China Launches 3rd Shenzhou Spacecraft

From: Ted A. Nichols II (
Date: Mon Mar 25 2002 - 11:16:43 EST

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    China launches third unmanned space vehicle
    BEIJING (AFP) Mar 25, 2002
    China has successfully launched its third unmanned
    space vehicle, the country's official newsagency
    reported late Monday.
    According to Xinhua reports, the "Shenzhou III" blasted
    off Monday night at 2200 local time (1400 GMT) from the
    Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's
    Gansu Province. 
    Scientists at the Beijing Aerospace Directing and
    Controlling Center told Xinhua the launch went ahead
    according to plan and that the vehicle had arrived at a
    preset orbit.
    Chinese President Jiang Zemin observed the launch of
    the Long March II F rocket which reportedly entered
    into orbit about ten minutes after blast-off. 
    The first experimental "Shenzhou" spacecraft was
    launched from the same centre on November 20, 1999, and
    returned to earth in Mongolia the next day.
    On January 10, 2001, China launched a second unmanned
    spaceship -- the "Shenzhou II" -- which was basically
    identical to a manned craft.
    Xinhua said Chinese scientists had designed life
    sciences, materials, astronomy and physics experiments
    which will be performed during the craft's journey, but
    did not mention when re-entry was expected.
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