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President Celebrates Successful Shenzhou-7 Launch

Chinese president Hu Jintao congratulated the country's space scientists and taikonauts on the successful launch of the manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Thursday.

"The successful launch marked the first victory of the Shenzhou-7 mission," Hu told Chinese experts and other work staff at the center after officials declared the spacecraft entered the preset orbit.

"On behalf of the Party Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, I'd like to extend warm congratulations to all work staff and army forces participating in the mission," said Hu.

The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 blasted off on a Long March II-F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gansu Province at 9:10 PM, after a breathtaking countdown to another milestone on China's space journey.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2008)

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