Saturday, September 27, 2008

China Walks the Walk

There is news beyond the the US financial crisis and presidential race. China's third manned spaceflight is underway with three "taikonauts" in Earth orbit since Thursday. The main goal of the Shenzhou 7 mission was a space walk, and that happened today when mission commander Zhai Zhigang spent 15 minutes outside the cabin, waving a Chinese flag.

I read a BBC news item that said this was the first EVA by someone other than an American or Russian, but I know that's not right. I'm sure that several European (ESA) astronauts flying on US shuttle/ISS missions have conducted EVA's. Perhaps they meant under the control of a nation other than the US or Russia. In any case, it's a pretty important step in the development of the Chinese space program.

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