China poised for space odyssey

China is poised to send astronauts into space, becoming the third country to launch a manned space flight.

    Astronauts said to be training in the actual Chinese spacecraft

    Though Chinese officials refused to give out the exact date for the launch, a Hong Kong-based newspaper said on Sunday that it could be anytime after the Communist Party Central Committee plenary meeting that ends on 14 October

    "China will become the third country in the world to launch manned space flight," said Wang Shuquan, deputy secretary of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

    Another Beijing-backed newspaper in Hong Kong reported that Chinese astronauts have already begun training at a base in north-west China in the actual spacecraft that is to take them into space.

    Rehearsals

    They were practicing and familiarising themselves with how to operate the spacecraft.

    "China will become the third country in the world to launch manned space flight"

    Chinese official

    They were also rehearsing how to deal with a variety of possible problems, the newspaper reported.

    A pool of 14 Chinese astronauts had arrived at the Jiuquan base in Gansu province, newspapers had reported last week. 

    Outlining the communist country's space ambitions, Wang said that even lunar landing and flight experiments were being planned. 

    Some overseas scientists predict China will accelerate its space programme and could have its own space station by 2008.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The story of Shula Cohen, aka The Pearl, who spied for the Israelis in Lebanon for 14 years.