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China launches first manned spacecraft

2003/10/15



       China's first manned spacecraft, the Shenzhou-5, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu at 9 a.m. Oct.15 (Beijing time).

       The spacecraft, atop a Long March II F rocket, was piloted by Yang Liwei, 38, a lieutenant colonel of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Yang, a member of the PLA's Astronauts Team, was trained at home.

       The Shenzhou mission, if successful, will make China the third nation to send a man into outer space, following the former Soviet Union and the United States.



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