RE: Shenzhou 7 to be launched on Sept 25

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Mon Sep 15 2008 - 15:05:42 UTC

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    Kevin Fetter wrote:
    > Shenzhou 7 will be launched on Sept 25, at 13:10 UTC.
    Based on a quick search of recent news reports, this story seems to trace back
    to Sohu news service, and this seems to be their report:
    Here is Google's translation:
    "China's manned space rocket system Huang Ping, head of the consultancy said
    yesterday that "on the 7th Shenzhou" manned spacecraft is the preferred launch
    time at 21:10 on September 25 around." 
    According to the translation, Sohu's cited news source is Xinhua press - the
    Yangtze Evening News, but I have not been able to find confirmation on the web.
    A Google search for "Sohu news service" results in few hits, most of which are
    in relation to the above story. Is anyone on the list familiar with Sohu? Is it
    a significant/reliable news source?
    If 21:10 is China Standard Time, then it is equivalent to 13:10 UTC, as is being
    reported. However, Shenzhous 5 and 6 both launched at 09:00 CST (01:00 UTC), and
    entered orbit about 10 minutes later, which leads me to question whether or not
    the reported time for Shenzhou 7 could have been misunderstood as 9:10 PM CST
    orbital insertion, instead of 09:10 AM CST. Whether AM or PM, could this be
    nothing more than someone's guess, based on the previous launches?
    A launch at 13:10 UTC would result in passes of Beijing in late afternoon and
    early evening. Seems like a good time of day to schedule the EVA, to maximize
    the local TV audience, but that is just my guess, based on Western custom, which
    may not apply.
    Anyone have any better information/ideas?
    Ted Molczan
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