Thu, September 25, 2008
Sci-Tech > Science

Taikonauts enter Shenzhou-7 spacecraft on 3-hour countdown

2008-09-25 11:37:56 GMT2008-09-25 19:37:56 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

The Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center held a ceremony Thurday afternoon for the three taikonauts due to board the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft before the startof the mission, Sept. 25, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

JIUQUAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- All three Chinese taikonauts have entered the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft at 18:28 p.m. Thursday, about three hours ahead of its scheduled launch.

They then plugged their spacesuits to the re-entry module of the craft and checked the communication system with the ground control after reviewing the operation manual of the spaceship.

The Shenzhou-7 will blast off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China later Thursday. The launch window was set between 9:07 p.m. to 10:27 p.m (1307 GMT to 1427 GMT).

Chinese President Hu Jintao met the trio taikonauts before they entered the spacecraft.

Hu wished the trio taikonauts a complete success in the mission during the brief meeting.

"With strong support of the whole nation, thorough preparations of various sectors, rigorous training and sophisticated skills of yourselves, I believe you will have a complete success in this glorious and sacred mission," Hu said.

"The motherland and people are waiting for your triumphant return," he said.

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