Reality check for China’s manned space ambitions China Daily

Chinese New Year celebrations here have nearly been overshadowed by saturation news coverage of the space shuttle Columbia disaster, reflecting China’s growing obsession – and new found worries – with space exploration as they count down to the country’s first manned space mission. China is on the threshold of becoming the third country to send its own astronauts into orbit later this year, officials declared after the Shenzhou IV spacecraft successfully returned to earth on Jan 5.