Chinese online voters pick top 10 astronauts

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An online poll that attracted 3 million responses revealed Tuesday that six foreign astronauts and four Chinese astronauts are the most influential space heroes to Chinese Internet users.

The poll, conducted by an alcohol company that also sponsored China's Lunar Exploration Project, was conducted between September 29 and ended Monday.

Responders voted for their top 10 astronauts including Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon and Yang Liwei, China's first man in space.

China launched manned space missions in 2003. The country launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, in 2007 and launched Chang'e-2, its second unmanned moon probe, on October 1.

Next year, China will launch Tiangong 1, a space station now in development and Shenzhou 8, a planned unmanned flight of China's Shenzhou space program as scheduled, and in 2012, Shenzhou 9 and 10 will be launched, according to Yang.

Buzz Aldrin said Tuesday, "All the Chinese people would be very proud when their flag is on the moon in 10 to 12 years."

Charles Bolden, the head of NASA, will have a meeting with the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense today, according to Zhang Jiahao, an official with the administration.

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