Hong Kong: China would be conducting its third manned space flight in the second half of September, according to a report by Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po. The mission starts the second phase of Project 921.
The Shenzhou VII spacecraft with a crew capacity of three is now scheduled to take off for its space mission sometime between 17 September and 1 October the newspaper without quoting sources.
The space mission is set to last between three to five days, and the spacecraft has already been flown to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the northwest Gansu province. It will land in the northern Inner Mongolia province, the newspaper said.
China brought forward the launch date, which was last reported to be October 2008. Earlier reports in the media had pegged the launch date for November.
According to an earlier report by China's official news agency Xinhua, of the three "taikonauts" or astronauts on board the space mission, one will conduct China's first space walk. China had successfully launched its first man, Yang Liwei, into orbit in 2003, a feat that made it the third nation after the former Soviet Union and the United States to put its man in space. In 2005, China had sent two more men into space on a five-day mission.