Chinese space walk before October?

by | Sep 2, 2008 | China | 0 comments

While internet reports are qouting Chinese newspapers saying that China’s three-man Shenzhou VII spacecraft could be launched in the next two weeks the Chinese government’s Xinhua news agency actually reported as long ago as March that the spacewalk mission could take place in “late September”

As well as being only one of three nations with an independent human spaceflight capability, China, if the mission is successful, will become the third nation capable of undertaking its own extra-vehicular activities

As any regular readers of this blog will know I have been highly sceptical of a Chinese spacewalk this year since my visit in April 2007 to the country’s astronaut training centre in Beijing

While I was there they seemed ill prepared for a spacewalk mission and the presentations about EVA training suggested they were a long way from being able to carry it out

When I had asked the China National Space Administration’s vice-administrator Luo Ge at the US Space Foundation’s National Space Symposium in Colorado in 2006 about the EVA suit I was cheekily told that it would have the words “made in China” on it

Well, made in China and designed in China are two different things. Now we have seen the suit I think we can guess how the Chinese were able to accelerate their programme to ensure a spacewalk mission in 2008, they bought Orlan suits from Zvezda

And as this story and video of mine shows, the Chinese spacesuits have been looking suspiciously Orlan-like for some time

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