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Three astronauts confirmed for Shenzhou VII mission

Source: CRI | 09-16-2008 14:53

Special Report:   China's First Spacewalk

China has chosen Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng as the astronauts to carry out its third manned space mission later this month.

Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang is seen in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in September, 2005. [File Photo: Xinhua]
Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang is seen 
in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center 
in September, 2005. [File Photo: Xinhua]

Chinese media reported recently that Zhai Zhigang is expected to conduct the spacewalk during the flight. Liu Boming will be the first substitute for the spacewalk.

Zhai Zhigang, 42, is from northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province. He joined the Chinese air force in 1985.

As the Shenzhou VII spacecraft orbits Earth, two astronauts will enter the orbital module. One will help the other put on a heavy spacesuit worth 100 million yuan, Chinese media reported.

Two safety straps will connect the astronaut in space with the spacecraft. The astronaut will put out a small satellite with a video camera to shoot the whole process of the spacewalk.

Chinese scientists have completed the final tests on the rocket and the telemetry system of the rocket carrier and the spacecraft.

China is likely to launch the Shenzhou VII spacecraft around 9 p.m. on September 25. Experts believe that the optimum time for the spacewalk is September 26 or 27.

The spacecraft will return to Earth on September 28.