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Shenzhou-7 Capsule Shipped to Beijing for Further Studies

The re-entry module of China's Shenzhou-7 spacecraft arrived in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon, two days after its safe landing in northern China's Inner Mongolia.

The capsule was shipped to Beijing's Changping Railway Station by train at about 3:30 PM on Tuesday, and will be later delivered to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), where the spacecraft was manufactured, for checks and further studies.

Preliminary examination of the capsule said its exterior remained in good shape.

CAST experts will open the capsule on Wednesday morning and conduct further examinations on the capsule and the parachute that helped the craft's safe landing.

The test sample of solid lubricant fetched by China's first spacewalker Zhai Zhigang on Saturday afternoon from the outside of the orbital module during his 20-minute spacewalk will be handed to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and studied there.

Back from a 68-hour successful mission that included the country's maiden spacewalk, the Shenzhou-7 re-entry module carrying three taikonauts landed safely by parachute at about 5:40 PM on Sunday in China's northern grassland.

42-year-old taikonaut Zhai Zhigang, assisted by his fellow Liu Boming, made China the third country in the world to successfully stage an extra-vehicular activity in the space only after the United States and Russia.

Other tasks of the mission included carrying out trials of satellite data relay and releasing a 40km companion satellite.

(Xinhua News Agency October 1, 2008)

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