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China's manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7


China's manned spacecraft Shenzhou 7, was launched on September 25, 2008 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province.

A project spokesman says all the major systems involved in the launching are now in the final stage of preparation. Tests for the spacecraft, the Long-March II-F rocket carrier, an accompanying satellite, as well as suits for the astronauts' space walk have all been completed, the crew enjoy "good" physical and mental conditions. The ground control system is also ready.

The photo shows technicians help the Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship to dock with the Long-March II-F rocket at an assembly plant. The spaceship has been finished docking with the rocket recently.

China's first astronaut, Yangliwei, made a 21-hour orbital tour aboard Shenzhou-5 in October 2003, making China the third country after the United States and former Soviet Union to traveld in to space.

Shenzhou 6 was the second human spaceflight of the China, launched on 12 October 2005 on a Long March rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Shenzhou spacecraft carried a crew of Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng for five days in low Earth orbit. The crew were able to change out of their new lighter space suits, conduct scientific experiments, and enter the orbital module for the first time, giving them access to toilet facilities. It landed in the Siziwang Banner of Inner Mongolia, the same as the previous manned and unmanned Shenzhou flights.