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Traditional Chinese medicines to be taken into space
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China's Shenzhou-7 astronauts will take traditional Chinese medicine in their spaceflight to treat motion sickness, doctor with the astronauts training center said on Thursday.

The medicine, prepared in capsule forms, is called "Taikong Yangxin (space heart-nourishing) Capsule". It can be diluted with water and taken to treat motion sickness in the space flight, said Li Yongzhi, director of medical department of the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.

"It is made of more than ten types of Chinese herbs, and has proven to be effective in improving the astronauts' cardiovascular conditions," she said.

The medicines are specially developed remedies for the mission, Li said. They have passed pathological and clinical tests and have been approved by the government supervising authorities.

Li and her colleagues have spent 10 years collating the astronauts' physical indices during training and space flights, on which the doctors have composed different recipes for each astronaut.

Taikonauts Yang Liwei, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, who flew in 2003 and 2005, took the herbal medicines before and after their spaceflight but didn't take the medications on board their spaceship.

Li said the pills on Shenzhou-7 will be particularly useful for the two astronauts who are scheduled to carry out extra-vehicular activities. "The medicine will boost their physical conditions and improve their adaptability in an extreme environment," she said.

The three Shenzhou-7 Taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng are scheduled to take off between 9:07 p.m and 10:27 p.m. on Thursday. The highlight of their mission is a spacewalk.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2008)

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