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Accompanying satellite begins orbiting Shenzhou VII spaceship

Shenzhou VII

HONG KONG (BNS): China announced that the country’s scientists had successfully directed the accompanying satellite BX-1 to begin circling of the Shenzhou VII spaceship on Sunday. Chinese scientists said the orbit would be an elliptical track of 4 km multiplying 8 km.

Official sources announced that it was the first time that China had succeeded in manoeuvering this kind of space orbiting.

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, the accompanying satellite began orbiting the orbital capsule of the Shenzhou VII at 6.14 pm on Sunday, under the close monitoring of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.

On September 25, the BX-1 rode the Shenzhou VII into space. However, it was launched by the spacecraft two days later. Since September 30, the control center changed its track six times to draw it closer to the space vehicle step by step, and finally it succeeded in orbiting the capsule, the agency said.

“Over the past days, the monitoring satellite has shot over 1,000 pictures of the spaceship from different angles. All the pictures are clear and complete,” a space programme official said.

The agency said that the photos were condensed and stored after they were taken by the cameras installed on the satellite. The BX-1 shot its first photo six seconds after being released. Xinhua said that in one of the pictures published, the spacecraft was flying like an eagle with the Earth as its background.

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