Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Chinese Scientists Start Studying Samples From Shenzhou-7
by Staff Writers
Lanzhou, China (XNA) Oct 08, 2008

Picture released by China's manned space project on Oct. 5, 2008 shows the image of China's Shenzhou-7 spaceship, taken by a small monitoring satellite six seconds after it was released from the spaceship on Sept. 27, 2008. Launched about two hours after Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang finished the country's first spacewalk, the monitoring satellite has sent back over 1,000 pictures of the spaceship. The shadow on the spaceship was that of the monitoring satellite. (Xinhua Photo)

Chinese scientists on Monday unsealed a box of solid lubricant samples that were aboard the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft. They will study the material for the next six months.

"Two types of solid lubricant samples, after being exposed to outer space during the Shenzhou-7 mission, had shown obvious changes," said Liu Weimin, head of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in northwest Gansu Province.

"The appearance of the two types of samples has either turned dark or become rougher," he said.

Solid lubricants are widely used in spacecraft to reduce friction because they withstand high temperatures.

Scientists hoped to improve the stability and lifetime of the materials by studying the test samples taken to outer space.

Liu said scientists would compare the samples with those exposed to a simulated space environment in the laboratory.

"We need to know how the lubricants react to being in a vacuum, atomic oxygen and low temperatures in outer space," he said.

If scientists discover the difference between the two exposed lubricants, they might be able to tell how other materials change in outer space, Liu said.

The solid lubricant samples, loaded outside the Shenzhou-7 capsule and retrieved by astronaut Zhai Zhigang during his spacewalk, weighed about 2.2 kg. They were exposed to outer space for 44 hours.

The Shenzhou-7 space module, carrying three taikonauts, landed safely by parachute on Sept. 28 in China's northern grasslands after a 68-hour flight. The mission included the first ever spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut.


Related Links
Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Analysis: China space launch raises fears
Washington (UPI) Oct 3, 2008
The release of a satellite into orbit during China's recent space mission has policy experts buzzing about the implications for U.S.-China space relations. The launch of this small "companion satellite," which weighs in at about 88 pounds, is a big step forward because it demonstrates China's growing military capabilities in space. "It's a significant new element in the ... read more

India to launch unmanned lunar mission this month

NASA's Dirty Secret: Moon Dust

NASA Challenges Students To Design Tools For Moon Rovers

A Lunar Dust Up Could Spell Trouble

An Opportunity For A Tour Will Be An Endeavour

Nicaraguan Volcano Provides Insight Into Early Mars

Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow, Soil Data Suggest Liquid Past

MRO Reveals Rock Fracture Plumbing On Mars

Japan May Throw Billions At Space Elevator Project

Rare Herbal Plants Aboard Shenzhou-7 Spacecraft Studied

International Space Station changes orbit awaiting tourist: report

Scientists working on space elevator

Chinese Scientists Start Studying Samples From Shenzhou-7

China Sets Sights On First Space Station

Analysis: China space launch raises fears

Emergency Rescue Vessels For Shenzhou-7 Spaceship Return

ISS Orbit Adjusted By Russian Progress Ship

Boeing Receives ISS Contract Extension

Europe's "space truck" heads for Pacific breakup

Russia's Space Agency Confirms 18th ISS Expedition

Ariane 5 Is Readied For A Dual-Payload Mission

Arianespace Flight 186 Set For End Of November

GOCE Team Gearing Up For New Launch Date

Russia Launches Thai Satellite On Converted Missile

COROT Discovers Exotic Object

Worlds In Collision

US astronomers discover inter-planetary collision

NASA's Kepler Spacecraft Baked And Ready For More Tests

Theory Explains Mysterious Nature Of Glass

Youngsters Flying High After Winning Top UK Space Competition

Clyde Space Delivers Battery Charge Controllers For RASAT

Coating may mean sleeker planes

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement