China defers 3rd space mission to 2008
The timetable depends on when researchers can tackle the key problem of the space suit that will play a critical role in the anticipated space mission that includes a one-man space walk.india Updated: Mar 13, 2006 12:52 IST
China will postpone the launch of its third manned space mission by about six months to 2008, the state media reported on Sunday.
"There is nothing wrong. We just need more time to prepare for the mission," chief consultant for China's manned launching vehicle system, Huang Chunping said.
China last year announced that 'Shenzhou-7' would take place in 2007 and would include a space walk.
The timetable depends on when researchers can tackle the key problem of the space suit, which will play a critical role in the anticipated space mission that includes a one-man space walk, Huang said.
The Shenzhou-7 spacecraft is a complicated programme, which will involve careful design, tests, modification, trial production, assessment by experts and experiments before final production, Huang, commander-in-chief of the rocket system for Shenzhou-5, China's first manned mission, said.
He said the China is fully capable of tackling all technological problems.
The Shenzhou-7 programme is expected to carry three astronauts, while its predecessor Shenzhou-6 transport carried two into space for a five-day tour in October last year.
China's first spaceman Yang Liwei made a 21-hour orbital tour aboard Shenzhou-5 in October, 2003, making China the third country after the United States and former Soviet Union to achieve the unique feat.