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Taikonaut "walks" 9,165 kilometers in China's maiden spacewalk
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07:57, September 28, 2008

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China's first spacewalker Zhai Zhigang "walked" a total length of 9,165 kilometers in space during the country's maiden extra-vehicular activity which lasted about 20 minutes Saturday afternoon, according to experts' calculation.

That length equals about one fourth of the earth's circumference at the equator.

The spacewalk was broadcast live on television, with cameras mounted inside and outside the spacecraft.

Donning a 4-million-U.S.dollar homemade Feitian space suit, Zhai slipped out of the orbital module of Shenzhou-7 in a head-out-first position at around 4:43 p.m. (Beijing Time).

"I feel well. I am here greeting the Chinese people and people of the whole world," Zhai, who is having his 42th birthday next month, said as he climbed out of the craft.

He then waved a small Chinese national flag handed by colleague Liu Boming, who also briefly emerged near the hatch.

After fetching a test sample of solid lubricant placed outside the orbital module, Zhai safely returned inside the craft, and made China the third country in the world to stage a successful spacewalk after the United States and Russia.

Source: Xinhua

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