Spacewalker revives moment of glory at National Day celebrations

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 1, 2009
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Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang Thursday revived a glorious moment of the nation when he reproduced the scene of China's first space walk mission at the National Day festivities on Tian'anmen Square.

Zhai, the first Chinese to step into outer space, replayed a hero when he floated out of a capsule model and waved the national flag to tens of thousands of spectators watching the dazzling parade in celebration of the 60th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Zhai was on a float featuring the country's achievements in space technology. He completed the epoch-making space walk on Sept. 27, 2008 during China's third manned space mission.

With national flags in hands, thousands of paraders dressed in dark blue working uniforms, representing the space industry, marched past the Tian'anmen Rostrum, where President Hu Jintao and other leaders were watching the grand ceremony.

China has sent six astronauts into space since 2003, when it sent its first astronaut Yang Liwei in home-made spacecraft Shenzhou-5. It was followed by a two-man mission that carried Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng in 2005.

The trio of Shenzhou-7 astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng orbited the earth for three days.

Zhai's space walk lasted about 20 minutes and was believed to help pave the way for the country' s next space mission -- the space docking in 2011 and a manned space station in 2020.

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