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Former U.S. astronauts wish China's Shenzhou-7 mission good luck
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11:27, September 24, 2008

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Several former U.S. astronauts told Xinhua that they wish China's upcoming Shenzhou-7 mission a success and the crew members the best of luck.

Depending on weather, the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft launch is scheduled between Sept. 25 and Sept. 30. This will be the third Chinese manned space mission, but the first time Chinese astronauts perform a spacewalk.

"I would like to wish the crew of Shenzhou-7 a safe and successful flight," said Edward Lu, a famous Chinese-American NASA astronaut, servicing in NASA from 1994 to 2007.

As a veteran of three space missions, Lu has logged over 206 days in space, and a spacewalk totaling six hours and 14 minutes.

"Spacewalking is an important capability, and it will mark a big milestone in China's space experience," Lu told Xinhua.

Jeffrey Hoffman, a senior NASA astronaut from 1978 to 2001, told Xinhua that he wished China's next astronauts good luck for a successful mission and look forward to hearing about their spacewalk.

Hoffman made five space flights in his space career. He has logged more than 1,211 hours in space, and he is also the first U.S. astronaut to log 1,000 hours aboard the U.S. space shuttle.

Describing himself as a friend of Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut, NASA former astronaut Winston Scott also wished the first Chinese spacewalker the best of luck.

"He (the spacewalker) is going to have a fantastic experience. I would urge him take the spacewalk slowly and deliberately. He should relax and enjoy the experience," Scott, with three spacewalks on record, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Scott hosted a reception in Florida for Yang and a Chinese Space Delegation in 2004. "I think the Chinese astronauts are excellent. They are highly selected, highly educated and trained professionals who will advance the Chinese space program greatly."

Michael Braukus, the public affairs officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. told Xinhua on Tuesday that NASA wished China success on the launch of Shenzhou-7 and the safe return of its crew.


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