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Home > News > PTI

China only third nation to put man in space

Anil K Joseph in Beijing | October 15, 2003 09:00 IST
Last Updated: October 15, 2003 10:29 IST

China on Wednesday declared that its maiden launch of a manned spacecraft -- Shenzhou V -- carrying an astronaut has been 'successful' and all systems onboard are working perfectly.

"Shenzhou V has entered precisely the preset orbit," an official in charge of the country's manned spaceflight programme said, minutes after the blast off, which took place at 0630 hours IST.

Yang Liwei, 38, became the first Chinese national to enter outer space, and China, the third country to conduct manned spaceflight after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

"The spacecraft and the carrier rocket separated at around 0910 am (0640 hours IST), and the spacecraft entered its preset orbit precisely," said the official.

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Prior to today's successful maiden manned space mission, China has conducted four unmanned launches since 1999 to ensure safety and reliability of the indigenously made Shenzhou V.

Shenzhou in Chinese means 'divine vessel'.

Astronaut Yang Liwei radioed back to mission control that he was 'feeling good'.

At about 0930 am (0700 hours IST), the first earth-to-space dialogue was conducted between doctor Li Yongzhi on the ground and astronaut Yang, the command and control centre in Beijing said.

"I feel good and my conditions are normal," Yang told the doctor about his body temperature and blood pressure.

The ace fighter pilot-turned astronaut said he was fully confident of the nation's first-ever spacefaring, Xinhua news agency quoted Yang as saying just before the Long March 2 rocket blasted off.

Yang, 38, was born to a teacher's family in Suizhong county in the northeastern Liaoning province. He has an 8-year-old son.

As a fighter pilot, Yang had at least 1,350 hours of flight experience. His comrades describe him as a 'miraculously dedicated' man.

Yang had two backups, Zhai Zhigang and Nie Haisheng. They were chosen from among air force fighter pilots like Yang.

Chinese President and the general secretary of the ruling Communist party, Hu Jintao, was personally present at the launch site in northwest China's Gansu province.

The following are the launch dates of the four unmanned space missions:

  • On November 20, 1999, China launched the first unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou I. It brought back large amounts of experimental data from its 21-hour flight.
  • Shenzhou II was launched on January 10, 2001. It carried out several propulsion system tests while in orbit, as well as scientific research.
  • Shenzhou III went into orbit on March 25, 2002. This was the first mission to include efforts to track and control astronaut escape and rescue systems.
  • Shenzhou IV blasted into space on December 30 last year. It was equipped with the most complete system needed for a manned mission.

More reports from China
© Copyright 2005 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: China third to put man in space

Why not our country can not do the same. In fact we should have taken alead in this. We are the first nation to bulit ...

Posted by S.K.Singhal

Sub: Chines space miss

It is unfortunate that China is wasting its resources for proving the world and its few democracy supporters that the communist party in not lagging ...

Posted by Vivek Sahajpal

Sub: I try

How great it is!

Posted by xi



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