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Foreign space experts speak highly of China's Shenzhou-9 launch


10:06, June 18, 2012

BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The successful launch of China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, intended to complete an automated docking procedure and a manual docking, has drawn great interest from foreign space experts who note the mission marks the growing maturity of China's manned space program.

The successful launch of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft with the country's first female and two other astronauts is another step forward in China's space development, Russian space scientist Igel Rosov said.

The current mission is considered as a major step toward building a permanent space station, he said.

Joan Johnson-Freese, a policy expert and professor at the U.S. Naval War College on Rhode Island, said China has already successfully implemented its manned space program and now was showing its more advanced human spaceflight capability in docking.

China has become one of the pioneer countries in space exploration, and other countries will be glad to see China's progress, she said.

William Anderson, a space professor at the U.S. Purdue University and former official of NASA headquarters, said China's space activity would definitely stir public passions for learning science, engineering and mathematics.

While the mission itself is not unusual, U.S. analysts told The New York Times, it extended China's remarkable pace in developing its space program.

"It is the speed with which China is ticking off these boxes in developing their program that is interesting," said Jeff Kueter, president of the George C. Marshall Institute, which focuses on how science is used in making public policy.

Eric Agre, director of Ghana space science and technology center, told Xinhua that China's repeated successful launches of manned spacecraft show that the country is becoming increasingly mature in space technology.

China's leading position in space science has offered new opportunities for Ghana-China cooperation in this regard, he said.


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