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    On the 11th of October the Soviet Union launched an artificial earth satellite with two spacemen on board.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: On the 11th of October the Soviet Union launched an artificial earth satellite with two spacemen on board. The spacecraft - Soyuz-6 is piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Georgi Shonin. Flight engineer Valeri Kubasov.

    The Spacemen are to fulfil an extensive program of scientific and technical research and experiments. The program includes testing an improved design of the Soyuz space rocket complex, checking the system of manual control and orientation, checking autonomous navigation devices, photographing objects on the Earth, and carrying out atmospheric tests for data to be used in the national economy. During the flight studies of terrestrial space will be conducted. The influence of space flight factors on the human organism will also be studied and attempts will be made to weld metals in conditions of deep vacuum and weightlessness.

    Reliable radio communication is being maintained between the spaceship and ground control. The two spacemen report that they are feeling fine. Normal conditions are maintained in the capsule.

    Before takeoff the commander of the Soyuz-6 Georgi Shonin made a statement. He said in part:
    "Every Soviet manned spaceflight crowns the tremendous creative effort of the scientists, designers, engineers, and workers who make the spacecraft. We are happy that we have been given the lofty honour of carrying out a new flight on the Soyuz-6. We assure the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist party and the Soviet government that we shall cope with the responsible tasks entrusted to us.

    Good-bye until we meet again on Earth."

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