China's third manned-spaceship will carry three
astronauts to accomplish missions like walking in space, repairing outside the
spacecraft and installing facilities in outer space, said Yang Liwei yesterday,
the country's first astronaut who was launched into obit in October 2003.
Shortly after the Shenzhou VII launch, China will also establish its
own space station, said Yang during this year's Air show China - the only
international aerospace exhibition in China.
China's space station will consists of three major parts ¨C station, orbit
capsule and returning capsule.
VII will be equipped with an individual pressure cabin for astronauts' pressure
reduction before they go for a space walk, which will be the first time in
China's manned space history.
Each astronaut visiting the outside of the spaceship will wear a US$20
million space suit.
The 100-kilogram space suits for Shenzhou VII differentiate from the suits
used for the astronauts in Shenzhou V and VI, because space walks require an
independent support system, including its own oxygen, liquid and electricity
supply ¨C so they can live, work and communicate outside the cabin.
The successful mission of launching Yang into orbit earned China the
distinction of becoming only the third country, after the former Soviet Union
and the United States, to launch people into space.
Two years later, the Shenzhou VI spaceflight carried two astronauts and
lasted 115 hours and 32 minutes, more than five times the duration of the
Shenzhou V mission. During the five-day voyage, the astronauts for Shenzhou VI
accomplished moving from the re-entry capsule to the orbit capsule for the first
time in China's manned space history.