2008 September. Flight Time: 5.00 days. Flight Up: Shenzhou 7. Flight Back: Shenzhou 7. Third Chinese manned space mission. First Chinese spacewalk.
The crew consisted of Zhai Zhigang, backup astronaut for China's first manned space mission; and Liu Buoming and Jing Haipeng, backups for the second mission. The astronauts would demonstrate the capability of the Shenzhou spacecraft to carry its full complement of three crew for the first time on a five-day mission. Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed space suit, was to emerge from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and be China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. One of the other astronauts, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, would remain in the depressurized orbital module and emerge only to assist Zhai in an emergency. The crew commander would remain in the pressurized re-entry capsule of the Shenzhou, wearing a Chinese derivative of the Russian Sokol spacesuit.
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© Mark Wade, 1997 - 2008 except where otherwise noted.