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Timeline of China's Space Program
www.chinaview.cn 2003-10-10 17:07:06

China formally launched its official space program in September 1992.

November 20, 1999 saw the first experiment craft, Shenzhou I being successfully launched.

On January 10, 2001, the unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou II, returned safely to earth.

On March 25, 2002, another unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou III, was launched and returned safely on April 1, 2002.

On December 30, 2002, the Shenzhou IV unmanned craft was launched and returned to earth on schedule from its seven-day flight. It is the highest caliber test craft in the Chinese space program to date. The successful launch and return of "Shenzhou IV" shows China' s technology for manned flights is becoming increasingly mature, which lays a solid foundation for eventually sending up manned flights.

Currently, preparations are well under way for China's first manned space mission, known as Shenzhou V, widely expected to rocket an astronaut into orbit within the next few weeks or months, said Science and Technology Minister Xu Guanhua on September 16, 2003. (China.org.cn)

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