China's Shenzhou-7 astronauts will wear the Orlan space suits provided by a Russian supplier and also the indigenous Feitian suit during the country's first ever space walk, said Wang Zhaoyao, spokesman with China's manned space program on Wednesday.
A space suit valued at 5 million yuan (730,000 US dollars) shown to the Chinese public for the first time at an aerospace exhibition held in Guilin on Friday, September 12, 2008.
Two astronauts who are scheduled to perform the extravehicular activities (EVA) will each wear the Orlan and the Fetian suit, and Russian experts will provide technical support for the process, he told a news conference at the launch center.
According to a contract signed in April, 2004, a Russia company provides three Orlan suits, two low-pressure training suits, four suits for underwater training, and four sets of docking systems in the craft. The Chinese side is responsible for providing power and communications equipment for some of the EVA suits.
The contract has been implemented smoothly, Wang said.
China has cooperated well with Russia, one of the pioneering countries in space exploration, in mutually-beneficial cooperation and exchanges, the spokesman said.
Wang took the occasion to thank the Russian partners for their assistance.
"The active collaboration of the two countries in areas like astronauts training and the development of spacecraft have boosted the advancement of China's manned space industry," he said.
"Such cooperation is in the interests of both countries," he said, "and the experience of successful collaboration in Shenzhou-7 spaceflight will create positive conditions for future bilateral cooperation."
The Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, China's third manned space voyager, will be launched Thursday at the Jiuquan satellite launch center in the northwest Gansu province.
(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)