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Learning English - Words in the News
17 October, 2005 - Published 14:19 GMT
China's space plans
China's Shenzhou VI spacecraft blasts off

China has announced that its next manned space mission will take place in 2007. The news comes shortly after the country's second space flight returned safely to earth after five days in space. This report from Daniel Griffiths:

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China's wasted no time in setting out the latest plans for its ambitious space programme. A senior official said the next manned mission will be in 2007, when the astronauts will attempt a space walk. After that, scientists will focus on developing the capability to rendezvous and dock with other spacecraft. He added that China also wanted to recruit female astronauts in the near future.

The announcement comes just hours after the country's second manned space mission touched down in the remote grasslands of inner Mongolia. The returning astronauts have been given a hero's welcome, riding in an open car in a nationally televised parade. Thousands of soldiers and groups of schoolchildren lined the route, waving Chinese flags. It's a sign of the great importance China attaches to its space programme, viewing it as a source of national pride and international prestige.

Daniel Griffiths, BBC News, Beijing

Listen to the words

setting out

wanting to be successful in something that is difficult and challenging

manned mission
a trip to space on a rocket which has people on board

focus on
concentrate on

to rendezvous and dock with
to meet and connect with

to recruit female astronauts
to employ women to go into space

touched down
landed, came back to Earth

lined the route
stood by the side of the road


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