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China's Astronauts To Wear Domestic, Russian-Made Suits
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jul 24, 2008

File image of a Chinese spacesuit.

China has two types of space suits-- one domestic, one from Russia -- for three "taikonauts" in the third manned launch, reportedly scheduled for October, a senior scientist has said.

The taikonaut who would do the space walk might wear a domestic suit, designed according to local standards, including the seaming technology, said Zhao Changxi, general technologist with the Beijing Satellite Manufacturing Factory, in an online interview on Tuesday.

The factory is responsible for making the seats, the pipeline system and the main structure of the re-entry, orbital and ancillary modules.

According to Zhao, when the spaceship, Shenzhou VII, enters orbit, two of the three crew will go to the vacuum module. One will conduct a space walk; the other will be there for emergencies.

Zhao said neither space suit has a power system. An electric umbilical cord will link the taikonaut and the ship, providing power and information.

He said in the future, the country would rely on domestic suits.

He also said that cameras would be mounted outside and inside of the ship for live broadcasting.

China put manned spacecraft into orbit in 2003 and 2005.

Shenzhou VII is expected to be launched in October. Earlier reports said a crew of six had been chosen, three of whom were back-ups.

While the last mission of Shenzhou VI, with a crew of two, was aimed at multiple days of manned flight, this time the task might be more stringent as one of its main goals was the space walk, Zhao said.


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Shenzhou's Unsuitable Dilemma
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jul 22, 2008
Just when we thought that the plans for Shenzhou 7 were clearly defined, reportage in the Chinese media has complicated the situation. To be sure, the mission will still launch in October 2008 with three astronauts on board, and the first Chinese spacewalk will be conducted. But questions are again being raised about the spacesuits to be worn on the flight. This subject seemed to be neatly ... read more

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