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Chinese Astronauts Complete First Spacewalk 310

Posted by timothy
from the awesome-cgi dept.
As_I_Please writes "At 8:40AM (GMT) this morning, Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang successfully spent 18 minutes in a tethered spacewalk outside the spacecraft Shenzhou 7. This is an important step in China's goal of building an orbiting space station and sending astronauts to the moon."
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Chinese Astronauts Complete First Spacewalk

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  • by Toonol (1057698) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:35PM (#25179027)
    This announcement brought to you by the freedom-loving Chinese Press at 7:20am.
  • I wonder if the dialog amongst the spacemen was any different this time?
    • by khchung (462899)

      Of course the dialog would be the same!

      This 20-minute spacewalk must have been practiced hundreds of times on the ground already, do you think that everyone involved would not already know exactly who would say what at exactly when?! Especially if everything went according to plan?

      The only glitch in the whole process was some problem opening the door. If the reported dialog does not contain that part, anyone who have ever seen one of their practices could have written a report with dialog before the rocke

  • Old news (Score:5, Funny)

    by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:40PM (#25179079) Homepage Journal

    I read about this last week on an English language Chinese news website.

  • Right. (Score:2, Troll)

    by Kid Zero (4866)

    This is an important step in China's goal of building an orbiting space station and sending astronauts to the moon

    Yeah, right. You've got a couple more steps before you can move into the Moon Base, speedy.

    • by interactive_civilian (205158) <mamoru@gma i l . com> on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:51PM (#25179179) Homepage Journal

      The point is that they are building their space program. You have to consider Asian, and especially East Asian thinking. They aren't like the west with its "profit immediately or forget about it" thinking. When I see China putting men into space (the third country to do so after Soviet Russia and then the USA) and now doing space walks, that means they already have a long term plan to set up semi-permanent if not permanent colonies in orbit or on other celestial bodies.

      See, they are not in a space race. They are doing this for their more distant future. When they do something like this, they aren't thinking of the next quarter's profits or even the next year's. They are thinking in terms of the next generation or the generation after.

      And, I applaud them for it. It is nice to see homo sapiens thinking long term about getting off this pale blue dot of ours, and not only thinking about it but taking active steps towards such a goal. I couldn't care less what language they are speaking or what country they are from. They are humans and they are making the effort that others seem to have given up on. Power to them.

      • Long-term planning (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Comboman (895500) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:42PM (#25179475)

        You have to consider Asian, and especially East Asian thinking. They aren't like the west with its "profit immediately or forget about it" thinking.

        Riiiiight. Because putting melamine in milk powder and antifreeze in toothpaste isn't about immediate profits, it's a long-term strategy for building a trusted brand.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          And putting the mad into cows. Oops, that's a Western specialty.

          Face it, Western farmers didn't know what would happen from feeding sheeps' brains to cows. And Chinese manufacturers didn't know the consequences of spiking milk with melamine -- they thought they were improving the milk. You're just a hypocrite if you think only China makes fatal mistakes.

          • by S.O.B. (136083) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @05:44PM (#25179879)

            And Chinese manufacturers didn't know the consequences of spiking milk with melamine -- they thought they were improving the milk. You're just a hypocrite if you think only China makes fatal mistakes.

            Of course they knew exactly what they were doing. According to this article in April of 2007 from the New York Times [nytimes.com] it was an open "secret" that melamine could increase the appearance of protein in animal and human food products without adding any nutritional value.

            "Many companies buy melamine scrap to make animal feed, such as fish feed," said Ji Denghui, general manager of the Fujian Sanming Dinghui Chemical Company, which sells melamine. "I don't know if there's a regulation on it. Probably not. No law or regulation says 'don't do it,' so everyone's doing it. The laws in China are like that, aren't they? If there's no accident, there won't be any regulation."

            I'm amazed at how many apologists there are for these violations of public health by Chinese businesses and the lack of oversight by the Chinese government, a government that has no accountability to anyone. And because of how much China exports these corrupt business practices affect the health of people outside their borders.

            I for one try, as much as possible, to avoid any products that come from China because I have no idea what I'm getting.

            • by pbhj (607776) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @08:20PM (#25180901) Homepage Journal

              And because of how much China exports these corrupt business practices affect the health of people outside their borders.

              I for one try, as much as possible, to avoid any products that come from China because I have no idea what I'm getting.

              You know what. China is serving global demand. Global business demands profit at all and any cost. Consumers don't care who sewed their shirts, that those people despite working hard can't afford healthcare and education.

              They say "don't care was made to care". Well the developed nations have sown the seed of their contempt for the humanity of the people of those manufacturing nations by not caring except about price. Now we're beginning to reap what we have sown.

              You've all heard of companies using child/slave labour. Clothing manufacturers, computer makers. Much of the worlds chocolate supplies are tainted with slavery #1 ... none of these companies go out of business.

              But now our constant drive for the bottom line is affecting the health of our home nations, now will we sit up and say no to globalised exploitation?

              ---
              #1 about 50% of cocoa comes from West Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali) where child slavery (abduction of children to work for no money) was considered widespread in 2001/2002. I have never seen any reports of a solution to this problem. See eg, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1963617.stm [bbc.co.uk] http://www.365act.com/actions/2.html [365act.com] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/apr/19/globalisation.benstafford [guardian.co.uk];

              Other sources http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_exploitation_in_the_chocolate_industry [wikipedia.org] particularly http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/24/news/international/chocolate_bittersweet.fortune/ [cnn.com] (read that one if nothing else).

        • by cyfer2000 (548592)
          This is a trick, a step in their long term strategy to make you think they are "profit immediately" type.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        As much as I'd like to subscribe to that theory I think both this, the Olympics and several others activities they do is mostly about national pride. Whether it was the Cold War, the UN (where Taiwan had China's seat), the G8 (where Russia is a member and China not) and many other places China never seemed to get much attention nor cared much about it. With the turn to market economy though, clearly they've also wanted to show the world their prowess in engineering (olympic stadiums), culture (spectacular s

      • While they can make up whatever high goals -- to boost nationalism, to save the world, or whatever -- the entire execution is contingent on money and profits. China is a highly profit-driven place; a lot more than rich places. Companies have to see profits to do the tasks. And just like the U.S. and everywhere else in the world, China has to face the hurdle of creating job opportunities. Huge projects like these can save thousands jobs in their defunct state-owned factories. They also need to absorbs millio

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sydneyfong (410107)

        Yes and no.

        In China, the lack of democracy means that you could plan for a distant future, as opposed to how you could get yourself (or your party) elected next term. In the west it's not "profit immediately or forget it" -- but rather "profit immediately, or otherwise the other party will revert it next term". China's current top-down approach in administration means it could move things with a definite purpose, rather than many individual working on their own interests.

        But then, short term thinking is a c

    • Yeah, right. You've got a couple more steps before you can move into the Moon Base, speedy.

      Not a problem, it's all CG.

    • by savuporo (658486)
      Yeah, it took US exactly four years from first spacewalk ( july 1965 ) to first manned moon landing ( july 1969 ). Indeed, a couple more steps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:47PM (#25179141)

    Why are all posts so anti-chinese?

    I love democracy and I live in a liberal western democratic country (Sweden), but I do not at all understand why all posts have to be so negative.

    Lets critisize china when they do something bad. When they do something good like this, lets congratulate them! This is a great step forward, not only for china, but for all of humankind.

    I honestly believe that China will be the space super-power during the 21st century and the faster they get there the better for ALL OF US - EVEN AMERICANS!

    So lets just cheer and celebrate this success! Congratulate the astronauts and engineers that made this possible. It is impressive and it is a fantastic work no matter if you are a russian, american or chinese.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pjt33 (739471)
      When you say, "All posts", by my count there were 14 posts before yours. One of them was congratulating China, and the rest rather than being anti-Chinese were debating whether the article was true or not, given the history of Chinese news reporting - with two links to articles about previous false reporting on this very issue in the Chinese press. I'm sure some of the posters will be willing to congratulate China once they have independent verification of the feat.
    • by Nutria (679911)

      Why are all posts so anti-chinese?

      You must not have seen this, from Thursday:
      http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/25/2145209 [slashdot.org]

    • by Chemisor (97276) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:02PM (#25179237)

      China is sending men into space. We are scrapping our only way of getting into space. Talk about progress...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wow, refreshingly sober post amid considerable "my penis is shrinking and I have to strike out at somebody" comments.

      I guess some people just cannot stand others doing well, especially when their own economy is in the toilet, crime is getting out of control, and their own society is in almost certain decline.

    • by robertl234 (787648) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @06:33PM (#25180211)
      Slashdot is always anti-Chinese. It's a symptom of a people whose country is on the decline desperately grasping at any excuse to convince themselves that they will remain on top forever. 150 years ago, the Chinese still thought that they were the most advanced country in the world. Now it's the Americans' turn.
    • by eln (21727)

      It's because many people still harbor some childhood bitterness toward the Chinese for their well-known tendency to urinate in other people's Coca-Cola.

  • competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:48PM (#25179153) Journal
    Hopefully China will make a real push for space forcing the US to get off its arse in regard to the final frontier...
    • by Nutria (679911)

      forcing the US to get off its arse in regard to the final frontier...

      A country that sends half it's money to foreigners and transfers the other half from Earners to Dead Weight isn't going anywhere.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Hopefully China will make a real push for space forcing the US to get off its arse in regard to the final frontier...

      Yes, because The Universe works on the "finders, keepers" principle.

      • whoever gets space travel pinned down first is going to have a pretty good advantage over other nations. The GPS constellation, satellites in general and space resources [energy, research and mining to name a few]
        • by evilviper (135110)

          whoever gets space travel pinned down first is going to have a pretty good advantage over other nations.

          "Pinned down" is quite a stretch, implying some sudden, overwhelming breakthrough that gives a huge competitive advantage.

          Instead, space travel is like any other scientific or engineering endeavor. Progress is linear, and what one group learns can be applied by others soon after. It's a ridiculous stretch to claim that putting a person on Mars first is going to give whatever nation responsible a substan

          • Instead, space travel is like any other scientific or engineering endeavor. Progress is linear, and what one group learns can be applied by others soon after

            it depends on your definition of "soon", just take a look at most nations' space programs... decades behind the US and Russia, even the EU with its combined economic power greater than the US is still far behind in terms of their space technology. Technological advancement does spread from its originating country eventually but the fact is that even

    • by Tweenk (1274968)

      Why do we take the notion that space exploration and colonization is desirable as granted? Will it make us feel better, or is this some attempt to find new resources to fuel our consumerist frenzy for which the Earth is becoming too small? Would you want to live on another planet in the solar system, where you couldn't go outside without a pressure suit, where you'd have to depend on complicated machines to support every second of your fragile life?

      Of course there are other important considerations, includi

      • there is nothing wrong with consumption, there is most definitely something wrong with exhausting Earth's resources and forcibly taking resources against the will of one person for the benefit of another. limiting consumption in of its self will not solve the problem, only prolong it- what we need to do is find less ecologically damaging methods of producing what we need. don't forget that some of the most ecologically damaging technologies were born out of poverty not excess [see china]

        Why do we take the

      • by VJ42 (860241) *

        Why do we take the notion that space exploration and colonization is desirable as granted?

        because (admittedly in a few billion years from now) one day our sun will die, and if we're not off this planet by then, our species will die with it.

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:49PM (#25179159)
    ...your local Walmart.
  • Since they like to make announcements of upcoming events as if they already occurred it's likely that they really mean that the the space walk is happening tomorrow.

  • Nice! (Score:4, Funny)

    by JackassJedi (1263412) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:28PM (#25179389)
    http://www.universetoday.com/2008/09/27/chinas-first-spacewalk-a-success-video/ [universetoday.com]

    "Zhai lifted himself through the hatch and waved at the camera attached to the service module on the outside of the craft, with Earth looming overhead."

    "He then tried to take off the helmet for a 'nicer portrait shot'."

    (After the implosion of his body, another astronaut from the 344 person manned spacecraft was sent to replace him.)
  • by Speare (84249) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:28PM (#25179391) Homepage Journal
    I misread the name of the taikonaut.

    Chinese astronaut Zhang Ziyi successfully spent 18 minutes in a tethered spacewalk outside the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

    My first thought, "that's pretty dangerous, in every movie she's been in, her clothes are ripped off suddenly and forcefully."

  • This is old, I read about it before it happened.

  • Yeah, but... is it for real?????


  • In addition to proving China's ability to maneuver in space, the spacewalk showed that China can produce reliable and safe space equipment. During his space venture, Zhai wore a new Chinese-built spacesuit, dubbed Feitian (Chinese for "fly the sky").

    The suit, which reportedly cost 30 million yuan (about $4.4 million), did its job protecting Zhai from the harsh temperatures and radiation of space. It has 10 layers of insulation, weighs about 265 pounds (120 kg), and takes up to 15 hours to assemble and put o

  • by damburger (981828) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @06:11AM (#25183259)

    I am seeing a lot of uninformed, and often racist, sentiment regarding this. Here are the facts.

    1. This is not a Russian capsule. The three module shape is dictated by the principles of capsule design in general, not by China simply buying a set of blueprints
    2. They are not moving that slowly, they are simply being economical with the number of missions they fly. It took Russia and the US 4 years to get from men in space to spacewalks, it has taken China 5 years.
    3. Their spending money on this whilst there are *gasp* still poor people on China is not something that can be criticised from a country bailing out wall street whilst letting the poor rot. At least Chinese people will eventually benefit from space technology. Who will benefit from bankers being insulated from the consequences of their actions? Everywhere has inequality. No reason to crucify China specifically for it.
    4. Shenzhou is the most technologically advanced manned spacecraft flying. The Shuttle has more capability but it is nearing the end of its life and when it retires, Americans better get used to play to second fiddle to China for a while.
    5. Being racist makes you a dick. Chinese people are just as capable of this as you are.

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