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China launches space tracking ship Yuanwang-7

(Xinhua)    12:36, July 12, 2016
China launches space tracking ship Yuanwang-7

China's new generation of space tracking ship, the Yuanwang-7, which will perform maritime tracking of manned spaceflight Shenzhou-11 and other space missions later this year, was formally launched on Tuesday after a 60-day trial period.

The vessel, designed by China, marks a new high for China's space tracking technology, said a statement.

The construction of the ship started on Oct. 10, 2014 in Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd. The 220 meter-long, 40 meter-high ship has a displacement of 25,000 tons. Capable of resisting strong typhoons, the ship can carry supplies to last for 100 days, the statement said.

China boasts a fleet of seven Yuanwang space tracking ships, which have carried out some 70 expeditions and traveled more than 1.5 million nautical miles in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans.

Shenzhou-11 will carry two astronauts to dock with Tiangong-2, China's second orbiting space lab to be launched in the fall. The docking is expected to allow two astronauts to live in space for up to 30 days.

The Yuanwang-1 and Yuanwang-2 ships, China's first-generation space tracking vessels, were launched in 1979, making China the fourth country to master space tracking technology after the United States, Russia and France.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jiang Jie,Bianji)

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