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Chief Designer on Shenzhou V Achievements

The safe return of the Shenzhou V manned spacecraft to earth created valuable wealth in human resources, equipment and culture, said Qi Faren, chief designer of the spacecraft, on Saturday.

Qi said at a symposium that the launch of the Shenzhou space capsules had trained a large group of young scientists and engineers. Commander-in-chief of the spacecraft system Yuan Jiajun was only 41 years old, and many vice-engineers were in their early40s.

"Fostering this group of young talent is a precious achievement of the project," he said.

Eighty percent of the staff of the seven systems of the project were below 40 years old.

Another valuable contribution of the project was a world-class research center of space technology in Beijing, which was established in just four years and 60 percent under budget.

"The research center laid a solid foundation for future achievements in terms of infrastructure," he said.

After a decade, the thousands of space scientists and engineers had nurtured a "zero error" culture, which accounted for every possible circumstance and guaranteed the astronaut's safety, Qi said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2003)

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