China set to launch manned space mission in 2008
China is planning to launch its third manned spacecraft and 15 carrier rockets, and orbit 17 satellites in 2008, a senior space official said on Monday.
The spacecraft Shenzhou-7 with three astronauts on board is likely to lift off after the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, said Huang Qiang, secretary general of China's Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND).
China, which has recently unveiled comprehensive space exploration plans, is only the third country in the world capable of launching manned spaceflights, after the United States and Russia.
In 2003 and 2005 the Shenzhou-5 and Shenzhou-6 spacecraft blasted off sending three astronauts into space.