HK museum mulls live broadcast

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 October, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 October, 2005, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Space Museum is considering a live broadcast of the launch of the Shenzhou VI spacecraft this week, but the lack of a firm launch time means those plans remain tentative.

The museum says it plans to mark the historic event 'in some way' but says it is still awaiting more information.

The Shenzhou VI is tentatively for blast-off in the early hours of Thursday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at the edge of the Gobi Desert in Gansu province .

Mainland authorities have not confirmed the launch time, with unusually cold weather threatening to delay the event. The spacecraft will carry two astronauts into orbit for five days.

The museum has an exhibit of China's manned space missions, which is likely to be expanded following the Shenzhou VI flight.

Hong Kong went space crazy in 2003 when astronaut Yang Liwei , the first Chinese to orbit the Earth, visited the city two weeks after his 21-hour flight on the Shenzhou V.

A four-day, round-the-clock exhibition at the Space Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui, featuring the re-entry module that brought Colonel Yang back to Earth, attracted thousands of fans. The first batch of 58,000 free tickets was snapped up in a day, with some enthusiasts queuing overnight, and the government had to release 27,000 more tickets.

It remains to be seen if this second, and much longer, manned flight will engender such enthusiasm from Hong Kong's space watchers.