A dozen candidates are trying out for China's second manned space flight, due to lift-off some time next year. Wang Yongzhi, the chief designer of China's space program, says the next launch will carry two astronauts.

Shenzhou VI will carry two astronauts and stay in space for several days. The launch last year of Shenzhou V carried only one man, Yang Liwei, and stayed in orbit for less than a day.

Wang also announced China's plan to develop its docking technology and launch a space laboratory by 2007.


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