"Shenzhou-7 is now outside the spacecraft. I feel well. I am here greeting the Chinese people and people of the whole world," Zhai said. He waved a Chinese flag handed over by partner Liu Boming, who helped the "walk" in the orbital module.
Later Zhai retrieved a test sample of solid lubricant placed outside the orbiter, as part of an experiment to test the durability of the materials.
After the spacewalk, he was congratulated by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who watched live transmission of the spacewalk from the Beijing control center. Hu hailed the spacewalk as a breakthrough and thanked the taikonauts for their devotion and excellent performance. He inquired the taikonauts of their health and lives in space through a phone.
Other tasks of the mission included carrying out trials of satellite data relay and releasing a 40-kilogram companion satellite, which was left in the space with the orbital module and the extravehicular space suits.
The live telecast of the historic moment was watched by tens of millions of Chinese and met with applauses and cheers by crowds before downtown outdoor screens and office television sets.
(Xinhua News Agency September 28, 2008)