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Shenzhou VI space outfits light, removable
Updated: 2004-11-04 10:34

Space outfits for China's second manned space flight capsule "Shenzhou VI," scheduled to launch in September next year, will be lighter and removable, the Beijing Morning Post reported.

Unlike the outfits on Shenzhou V, space suits designed for Shenzhou VI astronauts are much lighter and can be taken off after spacemen enter the capsule, designers of the space contraptions with the Space Medicine Engineering Institute were quoted as saying.

According to an official statement by the China Aerospace Science and Technology group, Shenzhou VI is expected to orbit the earth for five days with two astronauts aboard. The mission will enter and live in the orbital module, doing scientific experiments.

The new space outfits are mainly composed of a space suit, helmet, gloves and space boots. Each candidate for Shenzhou VI will have two to three spare outfits which are made in strict compliance with the standards of the actual space outfits.

In October 2003, when China's first-ever manned spaceflight, Shenzhou V, orbited the earth for 21 hours, its astronaut Yang Liwei had to wear the massive outfits weighing nearly 10 kg for the entire mission, a fellow researcher told the newspaper.

The cost of Yang's outfits amounted to nearly 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) and, if design expenses are included,it would be priced at approximately 100 million yuan (US$12 million), according to researchers.

The cost of the outfits for Shenzhou VI had not been released.

In addition to the improvement of space outfits, astronauts forShenzhou VI will have up to 50 different kinds of space food and aspace toilet on board.

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