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)