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'Shenzhou III' Orbital Module Circles the Earth over 1,000 Times
By now the orbital module of the "Shenzhou III" spacecraft has circled the earth over one thousand times in space and is in normal and steady operation, as learned from the Kashi space tracking, telemetering and control station, the "No 1" space tracking station in China.

The Kashi station is one of major stations to track the "Shenzhou III" orbital module. From April 1, on which the spacecraft was successfully recovered, to June 9, its orbital module had smoothly circled the earth for 1092 times, of which 112 were tracked, according to Tao Feng, a young general engineer with the Kashi station. Tracking result showed that the module had been in good operation and scientific experiments aboard were going on normally.

The orbit module runs round the earth 16 times everyday, said Tao, and Kashi station tracked simultaneously about two times. Since the module had been in good operation, the station had smoothly conducted adjustment on its gesture and orbit. Every movement of the module would be tracked continuously until all experiments finished smoothly, Tao said.

Under the administration of a base of the General Armaments Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, the Kashi station is located at the western tip of China's spacecraft tracking, telemetering and control network. Since most of its satellites of middle or low orbit launched by China enter the earth orbit southeastwards and return from the northwest, the Kashi station, as the first ground system to track and control the satellites, is entitled the "No 1" station in China's space tracking, telemetering and control.

The "Shenzhou III" spacecraft was launched in the evening of March 25, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center of Gansu Province, with its returning module landed smoothly in Inner Mongolia on April 1. Its orbital module has by now been flying in the space for 71 days.

(People's Daily June 12, 2002)

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