China's Shenzhou-7 mission passes final joint check
2008/09/24

JIUQUAN, Gansu, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Shenzhou-7 mission is ready for launch later this month after a final check of the spacecraft, the rocket and the ground operation system on Tuesday morning.

Scientists simulated the ignition of the rocket and the in-flight moves of the capsule to test how the system and the observation, control and communication system at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center would work together.

The undated photo shows technicians help the Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship to dock with the Long-March II-F rocket at an assembly plant. The spaceship has been finished docking with the rocket recently. (Xinhua/Qin Xian'an)

The undated photo shows technicians help the Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship to dock with the Long-March II-F rocket at an assembly plant. The spaceship has been finished docking with the rocket recently. (Xinhua/Qin Xian'an)

The rocket will be loaded with fuel after an overall quality review and approval of mission headquarters. All settings of the spacecraft and the observation, control and communication system will be frozen until the launch.

The Shenzhou-7 spacecraft is scheduled for launch sometime between Sept. 25 and 30. The craft, its Long-March II-F carrier rocket and the escape tower were vertically transferred to the launch pad on Saturday.

Cui Jijun, commander-in-chief of the ground operation team, said technicians checked the rocket and spacecraft on Monday to test the functions after the transfer. "All work well," he said.

A team of six "taikonauts" (astronauts), including three selected crew and three back-ups, have arrived at Jiuquan. One of the taikonauts will conduct a space walk during the mission.

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