"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Monday, September 26, 2005
(MSNBC) The launch of Shenzhou 6 is scheduled for 11 a.m. [on October 13th] at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Base, in the Gobi desert in northern China, the state-run China News Service reported on Sunday.
The military-backed space program is a major prestige project for the communist government. China hopes to land an unmanned probe on the moon by 2010 and operate a space station.
Launching astronaut's into space is something China prides itself on, being the only Asian nation and one of the three countries (after Russia and the United States) to successfully launch an astronaut without the aid of foreigners. One unique feature about the Shenzhou rocket is the "fault-detection and escape system," which basically allows the astronauts to abort the ship just in case a "Columbia incident" is about to occur.
(China View) The 8-metre-tall escape system, built atop the spacecraft, can detatch the Shenzhou VI from its rocket in case of emergency 900 seconds before and 160 seconds after take-off, according to Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po newspaper.
The duo to fly the Shenzhou VI will be chosen from the same pool of fighter-jet pilots who were part of the first selection process during which Yang was chosen. (Source*)
The mission will last approximately five days compared to China's first mission into space which was just 2.5 hours short of a day. The ship will also carry two astronauts and will be a bit cozier than the first launch into space.
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