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Message Ven 21 Oct 2005 - 22:05

Chinese Businessman Books Quick Getaway in Space

BEIJING -- A Chinese man has paid $100,000 for a 90-minute voyage that will make him China's first tourist in space, the China Daily said on Friday.

Jiang Fang, president of a Hong Kong company that acts as the China agent for U.S.-based space tourism firm Space Adventures, would experience zero gravity on one of the company's sub-orbital flights due for launch in 2007, the China Daily said.

That same year, China plans to launch its third manned space flight, which should include the country's first spacewalk.

American millionaire Gregory Olsen returned earlier this month from a one-week stint on the International Space Station arranged by Space Adventures at a price of $20 million.

Space fever is running high in China after safe return of its second manned space mission, the Shenzhou VI, on Monday and could spike again when a television show offering an insider's view of the national space program hits screens this month.

"Shenzhou" tells the story of 2003's Shenzhou V mission, which carried Colonel Yang Liwei, China's first man in space, on 14 orbits of Earth, the Beijing Morning Post said.

Yang, now a national hero, served as consultant to the show, helping the lead actors understand the feeling of being in space and demonstrating how actions like pushing buttons and eating pastry mooncakes were done in zero gravity, it said.


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