China's spaceship Shenzhou 7 has been successfully launched at 21:10 local time. President Hu Jin Tao expressed his congratulations.
The spaceship is manned with a crew of three astronauts whose journey to space should last 100 hours. Its actual altitude at 18:51 CET is 262,5 km.
The day before, Al-Jazeera already reported about the preparations of that mission that is intended to be the first step on China's way to the moon.
It is reported that Chinese astronauts used to be treated with Chinese herbal medicine before and after their mission with Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6. Such, it can be predicted that Shenzhou 7 astronauts have been treated equally to avoid one of them falling ill.
By the way, when it comes to name Chinese astronauts in the Western media, they are often called "taikonauts", an expression related to the word "tai kong yuan 太空员" that is used in the Chinese language for "astronaut".
The vice-director of China's institute for rocket research, Lu Yu, in an interview with People's Daily online.
UPDATE (September 27, 2008): First Chinese Spacewalk