New Scientist: China has announced that it will launch its fourth unmanned Shenzhou spacecraft on New Year’s day 2003. If successful, the launch should be the final test before Chinese astronauts are blasted into orbit.

Zhang Qingwei, president of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, told reporters at the Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Tuesday that Shenzhou IV would launch on 1 January with the same functionality as a manned craft.