Chinese astronauts land safely in Upper Mongolia

They made in back in one piece. Details here.

China launches three astronauts into orbit 2

JISHOU, HUNAN — The Chinese space agency successfully sent three yuhangyuan into orbit tonight, its third successful manned mission in five years. During the four-day mission of Shenzhou 7, one of the astronauts will exit the capsule to take China’s first walk in space. His EVA is expected to last 40 minutes, and will serve as a “dry run” for planned EVAs to build a Chinese space station in the next few years. The launch from the Jiuquan space facility in northwest China went off without a hitch at 9:10 pm. The crew were in orbit over the Pacific Ocean within 15 minutes. The spacewalker is expected to be Zhai Zhigang, 42, a test pilot, but one of his crewmates, Liu Boming or Jing Haipeng, also 42-year-old test pilots, could exit the capsule in his place if necessary. It is the first time in space for all three. China has ambitious plans for its space program, as it tries to be another world player in space exploration. By 2010 it hopes to have a small space station in low earth orbit. In 2012 it plans to send its second unmanned probe to the Moon. The first took photos of the ...
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