China's second manned spaceflight is going smoothly but weather conditions at the landing site will determine the timing of its return, state media and space-travel experts said yesterday.
Shenzhou VI, with two astronauts aboard, is scheduled for a five-day mission after a successful launch on Wednesday from northern China's Inner Mongolia.
Xinhua news agency reported 13 landing sites have been set up to prepare for the spacecraft's return at "any time."
Wu Guoting (吳國庭), a senior researcher with the China Research Institute of Space Technology, told Xinhua news agency that the timing will be decided according to weather conditions at the main landing area in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia.
"The return may occur on, before or after the fifth day of Shenzhou VI's lift-off," he was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
Operations on Shenzhou VI have been "very smooth" so far and there was no indication it would be forced to return early, said Chen Lan, an independent Chinese space analyst who runs a space Web site called Go Taikonauts.
Early yesterday, the spacecraft successfully carried out two operations to stay in its original orbital path after earlier deviating slightly.
The vessel started its 32nd orbit yesterday morning, more than 48 hours after it blasted off on Wednesday.
Astronauts Fei Junlong (費俊龍) and Nie Haisheng (聶海勝) were in contact with the mission command center and have frequently been seen on state TV and Web sites.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year