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Taikonauts enter spacecraft on 3-hour countdown
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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.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2008)

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