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Home >> China
UPDATED: 16:31, October 11, 2005
Chinese expecting launch of Shenzhou-VI
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China will launch spacecraft Shenzhou-6 Wednesday morning and the manned space mission will be broadcast live via radio, television and the Internet.

Why China launches manned spaceflight

On October 15, 2003 Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei blasted off in Shenzhou-V spaceship and sent Chinese's first greeting from 343 kilometers away in the vast space: "Peaceful use of the space for the welfare of mankind."

It is a historic breakthrough in China's manned spaceflight, indicating that China has become the third country to succeed in independently sending astronaut to the space.

Why should China launch manned spaceflight? Chief Architect of China's manned spaceflight program Wang Yongzhi said: "Manned spaceflight is the most complicated and difficult large-scale aerospace project. The area represents the technological and economic strength of a country."

Only a few countries in the world are capable of sending men to the space. Manned spaceflight involves many fields of high technologies, which cannot be bought with money no matter how much you are willing to pay. Developing manned spaceflight actually reflects the overall scientific and technological level of a country.

Significance of Shenzhou-VI launch

Starting from Shenzhou-VI, the second-stage plan of China's manned spaceflight program begins, engaging in space scientific experiments really participated in by man.

As another space beside the land, sea and air, aerospace contains infinite mysteries. And since it is different from the special space environment of the earth, thus breaking man's habit of understanding things under the gravity condition, it forces man to rethink the space from a new angle and expands man's scope of activity gradually from the land, sea and atmosphere to the space.

"In the space, man can conduct a series of experiment using the space environment, thus providing technological innovations and instrumental innovations for production on the ground. The space has many resources of important value to mankind. For example the space has inimitable, particular environments such as high vacuum, strong radiation and micro-gravity, which furnish an ideal experiment site for scientific research. Developing manned spaceflight helps drive the development of national economy.

In the second-stage plan to be triggered by Shenzhou-VI and the third-stage plan that follows China will complete missions such as space walk, docking of spacecraft and space cabin, launch of space laboratory and permanent space laboratory.

"As science and technology advances and society develops, people have come to realize that the earth's resources are finite. For social advance and our life man needs to continuously expand scope of activity. Manned spaceflight is an important means for man to expand scope of activity and further explore and utilize space resources in a large scale," said Wang Yongzhi.

"China does not want to be a super power. But China is a country with a population of 1.3 billion. As a developing country with a 5,000-year-old civilization China should have its own position in human spaceflight undertaking," said the 70-odd-old Chinese spaceflgiht man from the bottom of heart.

By People's Daily Online

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