Four Chinese monitoring ships in charge of tracking and
measuring the Shenzhou VI manned space flight encountered bad sea
conditions Friday night.
The No.3 ship, one of the four "Yuanwang"-series surveying ships
stationed in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic
Ocean, was suffering a particularly stern situation with
4-meter-high sea waves driven up by fresh gale.
All of the four ships have prepared emergency schemes in case of
worse sea situations.
China has set up a space telemetry network consisting of some 20
surveying stations on land and four tracking ships to monitor the
flight of its second manned spacecraft Shenzhou VI and collect data
it transmits from space, according to Jian Shilong, an official in
charge of the network.
Since the vessel carried two astronauts into space Wednesday
morning, the four monitoring ships have accomplished about 50 tasks
including receiving sound and images from and sending orders to the
The No. 3 ship conducted an orbit maintenance early Friday
morning to restore the spacecraft, which had slightly deviated from
the orbit due to gravity, to its original trajectory.
The four ships, all were involved in China's past five Shenzhou
flights during 1999-2003, boast advanced technologies in terms of
the functions and precision of measuring and controlling,
automatization and reliability, said Jian.
(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2005)