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Search for Rocket's 'Black Box" Under Way

Recovery teams are combing a vast area, looking for the debris and "black box" of the Long March CZ-2F rocket that just put China's first manned spacecraft into orbit Wednesday.

During a 10-minute flight, the rocket completed its mission by jettisoning the escape tower and the boosters, separation of the first and second stages of the rocket, and jettisoning of the fairing.


These debris are scheduled to scatter in an area ranging from the Badain Jaran Desert in Inner Mongolia to Yulin Prefecture in Shanxi Province in north China. The route is about 800 kilometers in length.


"One of the main jobs for us is to find the magnetic recorder,” said Ma Bingqi, head of the emergency rescue brigade. Also known as the "black box", the recorder keeps the in-flight data that ground monitoring stations cannot obtain.


The black box was attached to the first stage of the CZ-2F rocket and is expected to be found somewhere near Otog Banner of Inner Mongolia.


(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2003)


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