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Another 'normal' day in space for Shenzhou VI
By Zhao Huanxin (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-14 05:51

But earlier reports said the series of tests included astronauts deliberately using more strength while moving to test the effect of people's movement on the capsule.

The reports said the experiment indicated the astronauts' movement had little effect on the vessel; the craft could maintain its normal flight. "Shenzhou VI is flying normally in its pre-set orbit," the centre said in its statement.

Wu Guoting, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Space Technology, yesterday said that the impact of the movement of one or two astronauts on the heavy spacecraft would be little, let alone "overturning" the craft.

The centre also said that by 7 pm yesterday, the spacecraft had circled the Earth 23 times. Astronauts maintained close contact with ground mission controllers, reporting to them the performance of the spacecraft and how they felt on board.

Also yesterday, Zhang Bainan, chief designer of China's spacecraft system, said that with many modifications and improvements in the series of spacecraft capsules, Shenzhou VIII is expected to become almost the definitive version of China-made space vessels.

Zhang said the designers of the Shenzhou series avoided the defects of Russia's Soyuz vessels.

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