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Foreign media closely follow successful landing of China's spacecraft Shenzhou-7
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10:03, September 29, 2008

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· Shenzhou-7, China's 3rd Manned Space Mission
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Foreign media closely followed the successful landing of China's spacecraft Shenzhou-7 and the safe return of the three taikonauts on Sunday, and have given extensive reports on the event.

The CNN (Cable News Network) website said the spacewalk conducted by Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang "paves the way for assembling a space station from two Shenzhou orbital modules, the next major goal of China's manned spaceflight program".

Sunday's Washington Post and New York Times both reported in minute-details on Zhai's spacewalk, calling China's first spacewalk "another milestone in China's exploration in space", and "the first step towards China's goal of building a space station."

French News Channel said China has made a historic breakthrough with its taikonaut successfully conducting the first spacewalk. French TV Channel 2 said in 2003, China became the third country after the U.S. and Russia by sending its first taikonaut into space. During the Shenzhou-7 space mission this time, China also became the third nation to have a taikonaut independently conduct spacewalk outside of the spaceship. The successful spacewalk has pushed China one step nearer its main goal of building a space station in the future and landing on the Moon.

The Swedish News Agency TT and the Romanian News Agency Agerpres also said Shenzhou-7 spacecraft's successful landing marks China's one big step forward to its "ambitious spaceflight plans", and makes the nation closer to become a space power.

The U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) said China's successful space flight mission "underscores China's technological achievements and is boosting national pride, especially among the nation's young."

The report quoted Gregory Kulacki from the Union of Concerned Scientists as saying that the wall-to-wall live coverage of the space mission in China "shows the political authorities are more confident of the likely success of the mission." "It also makes for a pretty good viewing audience," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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