Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ground Control to Major Zhai

China's young space program has reached a milestone...on Saturday morning, Chinese astronaut took the firs-ever spacewalk for the nation.

Mission commander Zhai Zhigang floated out of the orbiter module's hatch in the spacewalk, shown live on state broadcaster CCTV. Tethered to handles attached to the Shenzhou 7 ship's orbital module's exterior, Zhai remained outside for about 13 minutes before climbing back inside and closing the hatch behind him.

Fellow astronaut Liu Boming also emerged briefly from the capsule to hand Zhai a Chinese flag that he waved for an exterior camera filming the event.

China's next goal: to put a man on the moon in the next decade.

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