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Xinhua publishes bogus space story

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BEIJING, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- China's state-run news agency made a gaffe Thursday when it published an "in space" conversation among the Chinese astronauts even before they left Earth.

Xinhua news agency posted the story on its Web site well before the launch of the Shenzhou VII space craft, The Times of London reported.

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The story, which was headlined "Sleepless Night on the Pacific, Sidelights on the Observation and Control of the 30th Lap of the Shenzhou 7 Spaceship," was removed from the Xinhua Web site and was described as a technical error.

The newspaper reported that it is unclear whether the astronauts were interviewed for the story. The spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday.

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