September 27, 2005
China's Second Manned Launch: October 13
Shenzhou 6 is now scheduled to launch October 13, 2005, and will carry two astronauts into orbit. The first Chinese human spaceflight mission was Shenzhou 5, in October 2003 with just one astronaut aboard, Yang Liwei.
The new flight is scheduled to have the astronauts in orbit for 5 days, moving between the flight module and the orbital module that carries science experiments. It is also scheduled to be considerably more comfortable than the last mission, with warm food and sanitation systems. Rumors are floating about Shenzhou 7 including a space walk, and rapid progress toward permanent orbiting stations and perhaps even a lunar program; much of the Chinese space program remains shrouded in secrecy for the moment however. It's certainly interesting to see another entrant in human spaceflight, taking yet another interesting path along the way.
Posted by apsmith at 10:05 PM