China announced recently that its second manned space flight will be launched with a Long March II F rocket, which also powered its first manned spacecraft.
The spacecraft, the Shenzhou VI, will be launched in 2005, Xinhua, China’s main government-run news agency reported. Liu Zhusheng, the chief designer of the rocket, said, “Crew increases and flight time will add to the weight of food and equipment in the aircraft, which requires us to make a series of changes in the rocket to enhance its carrying capacity.”
China is training 14 astronauts, two of whom will be selected for the second space flight in 2005. China plans to build a space station and land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by 2010.