China will launch Shenzhou VII with three astronauts in September 2008, after the Beijing Olympic Games, said Song Zhengyu, deputy director-designer of Long March II carrier rocket F and research fellow of the first institute of the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp (CASTC).
The preparation work goes smoothly, with the rocket to be ready at the end of this year. The selection and training of the three astronauts is getting under way.
Different form Shenzhou VI, the astronauts of Shenzhou VII will step out of the module for a space walk, operation, tightening up screws, and installment of equipment, with the aim to get ready for the building of a space station.
After the launch of Shenzhou VII, a space station with 20 tons will be built, Song said, adding that Shenzhou VII will also be launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northweat China's Gansu Province.
By People's Daily Online