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Chinese research craft launched on two-week mission

The Shijian 10 recoverable satellite lifted off at 1:38 a.m. Beijing time Wednesday. Credit: Xinhua
The Shijian 10 recoverable satellite lifted off at 1:38 a.m. Beijing time Wednesday. Credit: Xinhua

The unpiloted Shijian 10 spacecraft launched from a spaceport in northwestern China on Tuesday with a suite of microgravity research experiments developed by Chinese and European scientists.

The bullet-shaped space capsule soared into orbit aboard a Long March 2D rocket at 1738 GMT (1:38 p.m. EDT) Tuesday from the Jiuquan satellite launch center, a military-owned facility in the remote frontier of northwestern China.

The mission, also called SJ-10, carries 19 experiments investigating fluid physics, combustion in space, materials science, biotechnology, and the effects of microgravity and radiation on plants and animals, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which manages the program.

Shijian 10’s return capsule will descend to parachute-assisted landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region in about two weeks, while an orbital module will remain in space to conduct further experiments, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

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Chinese research craft launched on two-week mission

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