Sat, September 27, 2008
Sci-Tech > Science

Shenzhou-7 launches small monitoring satellite

2008-09-27 12:13:41 GMT2008-09-27 20:13:41 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's third manned spaceship Shenzhou-7 launched a small monitoring satellite about two hours after an astronaut accomplished the country's first spacewalk Saturday afternoon.

The satellite will orbit the orbital module of the spaceship.

"The task will test our ability to observe and control two satellites in relative motion," said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of the country's manned space program, in an earlier interview.

The small satellite, less than 40 kilograms in weight, will send back the first full video images of the spaceship.

"The satellite is equipped with two cameras that can capture clear images in a distance between four meters and two km," said Shen Xuemin, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, developer of the satellite.

The accompanying satellite will observe and assist the main spaceship as well as work for communication, scientific experiment, earth and astronomy observation, he said.

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