China will send at least two astronauts into outer space in the fall next year, and they will stay there for at least one week, reported Thursday's Beijing News, citing Yang Jiachi, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The astronauts will move between the re-entry module and orbital module, two parts of the spaceship, when they are in outer space, according to Yang, who described it as the "biggest" breakthrough for this manned space mission. "Possibly, Yang Liwei may not be chosen for this mission," Yang said.

The detailed plan, such as exactly how many astronauts will be sent into space and how long they will stay there, is yet to be decided and China is still conducting relevant experiments, noted Yang. A Long March II F carrier rocket will still be used to launch the space flight and the design of the Shenzhou VI will basically remain the same as that of the Shenzhou V. And the astronauts will step into the orbital module and conduct various types of experiments there, according to Yang.

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