Shenzhou 7 (artist’s conception)
Three astronauts are now circling the Earth at a constant altitude of 213 miles (343 kilometers) in China’s Shenzhou 7 spacecraft after a perfect take-off on a Long March II-F rocket on Thursday. A crew member, probably mission commander Zhai Zhigang, is preparing for China’s first spacewalk.
This is the third manned mission of the 16-year-old Chinese space effort. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) claims the country’s space effort has generated 800 types of new materials, 80 percent of the new materials developed in China. Most of China’s space effort has been devoted to unmanned, low-orbit geosynchronous satellites used for communications.
NotionsCapital is jealous of any national economy that can afford to waste enormous amounts of money and human life on man-in-space stunts that produce little more than prestige. We salute astronauts Liu Boming, Zhai Zhigang and Jing Haipeng and wish them happy landings in Inner Mongolia on Sunday.
Image by Mike Licht. download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com