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China delays spacewalk mission by six months


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China has postponed the launch of the Shenzhou VII rocket and the country's first space walk mission by six months, into 2008, state media said on Saturday.

"There is nothing wrong. We just need more time to prepare for the mission," Huang Chunping, a senior consultant to China's space programme, told the official Xinhua news agency.

China announced in 2005 that the launch of the Shenzhou VII, the country's third crewed mission, would take place in 2007 and would include a space walk. But Huang, the chief consultant for China's crewed launching vehicle system, explained that Shenzhou VII was a complicated program that needed careful tests and trials. More specifically, he said the timetable now depends on when researchers can tackle the key problem of the spacesuit.

Source: New Scientist


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