China may live broadcast the first ever spacewalk by its
astronauts in the upcoming space mission of Shenzhou VII this year,
a scientist involved in the program said here on Friday.
Yuan Jie, president of Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight
Technology (SAST), made the remarks at the ongoing annual session
of Shanghai People's Congress, or legislature of the city.
"The Shenzhou VII spacecraft is capable of live-broadcasting the
walk, but it has not been decided if the spacewalk will be
broadcast in a live or recorded version," Yuan told Xinhua.
SAST is in charge of the transmission of pictures and audio
signals of Shenzhou VII and its technologies have been proved
successful in previous Shenzhou spacecraft missions.
SAST is also responsible for the research of the propulsion
system, power system, and monitoring and control communication
system of the Shenzhou VII, according to Yuan.
Compared with the previous two manned space flights, the
upcoming Shenzhou VII space mission is more complex. Besides the
spacewalk, the crew is also expected to perform extra-vehicular
work such as installing equipment and tightening screws.
(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)