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Official: Taikonaut Zhai Zhigang to perform China´s first spacewalk

Source: Xinhua | 09-27-2008 16:20

Special Report:   Shenzhou-7 Manned Space Flight

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Shenzhou-7 mission leader Zhai Zhigang has been confirmed to perform a spacewalk, the mission headquarters announced on Saturday afternoon.

Zhai, who celebrates his 42nd birthday next month, is scheduled to move out the orbiter around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. Crew member Liu Boming will aid him in the orbital module. Another taikonaut Jing Haipeng stays in the re-entry module.

The video grab taken on Sept. 27, 2008 at the Beijing Space Command and Control Center in Beijing, China, shows Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang checks the door of the orbital module. Zhai Zhigang began the activities of China's first spacewalk on Saturday afternoon.(Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
The video grab taken on Sept. 27, 2008 at the Beijing 
Space Command and Control Center in Beijing, China, shows
 Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang checks the door of the 
orbital module. Zhai Zhigang began the activities of 
China's first spacewalk on Saturday afternoon.(Xinhua/Chen

The square-faced Zhai was born in a poor family in Longjiang County of northeast China's Heilongjiang province. His mother sold roasted sunflower seeds to support him and five siblings to school. His elder brother Zhai Zhiqiang described him as "filial and mature for his age" since he was young.