With a lot of modifications and improvements in the series of Shenzhou spacecraft capsules, Shenzhou-8 is expected to become a relatively fixed version of China-made space vessels, said Zhang Bainan, chief designer of China's spacecraft system.
According to Zhang, China has been making improvements from Shenzhou-1 to Shenzhou-6 spaceships. Every capsule has new technological features, to make the spacecraft perfect.
The design of Shenzhou series has avoided the defects of Russia's Soyuz vessel from the beginning and adopted more advanced technology. In addition, quite a number of ground experiments have been conducted from Shenzhou-1 to Shenzhou-6 to test every detail of the capsules.
As long as a final design is worked out, basic craft elements such as the shape, internal structure, control service system and data transmission will be fixed, but minor modifications may be necessary for different missions, the designer said.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
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