Sat, September 27, 2008
Sci-Tech > Science

Chinese astronaut makes nation's first spacewalk

2008-09-27 09:38:37 GMT2008-09-27 17:38:37 (Beijing Time) SINA.com

In this video grab taken on Friday, September 27, 2008 from China Central Television, Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang conducts China's first spacewalk. [Xinhua]

In this video grab taken on Friday, September 27, 2008 from China Central Television, Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang (R) waves a Chinese national flag as he conducts China's first spacewalk. [Xinhua]

In this video grab taken on Friday, September 27, 2008 from China Central Television, Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang waves to the camera as he conducts China's first spacewalk. [Xinhua]

BEIJING - A Chinese astronaut has emerged from the Shenzhou 7 spaceship to perform his nation's first-ever spacewalk.

Mission commander Zhai Zhigang floated out of the orbiter module's hatch Saturday afternoon in footage shown live on state television.

Zhai said: "Greetings to all the people of the nation and all the people of the world."

Fellow astronaut Liu Boming also emerged briefly from the capsule to hand Zhai a Chinese flag that he then waved for an exterior camera. The third crew member, Jing Haipeng, monitored the ship from inside the re-entry module.

A successful spacewalk paves the way for assembling a space station from two Shenzhou orbital modules, the next major goal of China's manned spaceflight program.

(Agencies)

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