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Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 09:15 GMT
China to train next spacemen
Visitors at an exhibition on Yang's mission
Chinese space hero Yang Liwei will be on the team
China will begin training astronauts next month for its second manned space flight, according to state media.

It plans to select two people out of a team of 14 for the mission on board the Shenzhou VI spacecraft.

No official launch date has been given but reports suggest it will be sometime next year.

China's first manned mission took place in October when astronaut Yang Liwei travelled into space on Shenzhou V, becoming an instant household hero.

The Beijing Youth Daily said 14 astronauts, including Yang Liwei, had been resting since China's first manned space mission, but will now start a training regimen.

The astronauts would be divided into seven pairs, the paper said. One pair will finally be picked to fly on board Shenzhou VI.

The paper also said that China was making plans to recruit more astronauts, as all 14 men were over 30 years old.

Along with China, only the US and Russia have sent manned spacecraft into orbit.

China has also announced plans to land a man on the Moon by 2020.

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