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Astronauts for Shenzhou-7 Mission Arrive at Launch Center

A panel of six Chinese astronauts arrived at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province on Sunday, making the last-minute preparations for the country's third manned space mission.

Taking a special flight to the remote center, three qualified spacemen and three substitutes said they had "full confidence to successfully accomplish the mission" after various trainings and tests.

The astronauts will pilot spacecraft Shenzhou-7 to carry out the mission during which one of them will spacewalk outside the capsule.

The spacecraft has been planned to be launched at an appropriate time between September 25 and 30 after the spaceship, its carrier Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower were vertically transferred to the launch pad on Saturday.

All the six astronauts prepared for Shenzhou-7 were once trained and tested at Jiuquan center more than two weeks ago when they had a live experience to enter the spaceship and learned the mission's whole process in a all-ready simulation.

The six spacemen now had moved to their special accommodation to be quarantined and to adjust their psychological conditions for the mission.

(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2008)

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