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Shenzhou IX concludes final full-system drill

(China Daily)

09:16, June 15, 2012

The Shenzhou IX spacecraft will be launched sometime in mid-June to perform the country's first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module. (Photo/Xinhua)

JIUQUAN, Gansu - The Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft on Thursday successfully completed its final full-system drill before its planned launch in mid-June, said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of China's manned space program.

The drill was conducted at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China on Thursday morning.

All systems relevant to the mission were tested to ensure coordinated operation, the accuracy of the spacecraft's software and hardware and consistency in transmitting information, Niu said.

"The drill's results met our expectations," Niu said.

All of the ship's systems will be prepared and placed in a "freeze" state until the real launch takes place, Niu said.

The astronauts have conducted multiple drills themselves since arriving at the launch center on June 9, Niu said, adding that the astronauts are fully prepared for the tasks before them.

"They are capable of meeting the requirements for the real mission," Niu said.

The Shenzhou IX spacecraft will be launched sometime in mid-June to perform the country's first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module.

The Tiangong-1 was lowered to docking orbit in early June.

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