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The World

China has made “great progress” in developing a manned space program, and the day that it launches its first astronaut is “not far off,” the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily reported. It said China has already begun to choose its first team of astronauts, but it but did not indicate a launch date. The Chinese have reportedly been working for several years on problems associated with building a space shuttle. In June, Sun Jiadong, vice minister of astronautics, disclosed plans for a Chinese astronaut but said that such a program “must be worked out gradually in keeping with our needs and capabilities.”


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