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Commentary: China's space dream flies high with Shenzhou-7
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08:13, September 26, 2008

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· Shenzhou-7, China's 3rd Manned Space Mission
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China's Shenzhou-7 spaceship on the nation's first spacewalk mission lifted off at 9:10 p.m. on Sept 25, 2008. It was China's third manned space journey, also the seventh mission of the Shenzhou series.

After Yang Liwei piloted China's maiden flight in space, and Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng carried out aerospace experiment in 2005, trio taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng shoulder a historic mission of conducting China's first spacewalk.

It is unprecedented for a Chinese to leave his footprint in the outer space, an invisible print, which will be curved into the Chinese history.

The scope of your dream decides how far you can reach. China's first spacecraft Shenzhou-1 blasted off just six years after it kicked off the manned space programme 1992.

After all those breakthroughs, China aimed high for a new challenge-- spacewalk, which is historically important for any aero power in the world.

A successful spacewalk marks a milestone in the manned space development of any country in the world. It not only facilitates the repair and maintenance of the exorbitant spaceship by an astronaut out of the capsule, but also makes the set-up of the space station possible.

As spacewalk is technically-challenging and highly risky, only United States and Russia possessed the complete know-how 43 years after Russian astronaut Aleksei Leonov conducted the first spacewalk of mankind on March 18, 1965.

Arduous as it is, as chief designer of China's manned space programme Zhou Jianping put it, China has the courage to face up to the challenge as the country is leaping forward on the way to the outer space.

If the mission goes smoothly, more research will be attempted including the docking between a capsule and a space module. After that, space laboratory which could be attended to by human being in the short period of time will be realized, and the construction of the permanent space station where astronauts are regularly based will be within expectation too.

Achievement are always empowered by dreams. From the household television and radio to the GPS positioned in the taxis and fishing boats, from weather forecast and Internet to the "space rice" and "space vegetables", we live in an era when space technologies prevails everywhere in our daily lives.

Outer space not only provides us resources, but also expands our living environment and creates new lifestyles. Human exploration to the outer space, however, has just started. Even if we succeed in spacewalk mission, there are numerous space secrets await us to decipher.

We have every confidence that China is capable of utilizing its space technologies and wisdom to benefit the mankind in outer space exploration.


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