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6.1.1Background


On October 12th 2005, Shenzhou-6, the second manned spaceflight from the People's Republic of China, was launched into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Centre. Before the launch, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao labeled the upcoming spaceflight program as a "glorious and sacred mission". Besides the United States of America and Russia, China is named the third country which successfully launches humans into space.

6.1.1.1  More Details about Shenzhou-6

In total, the Chinese government spent 110 million US dollars in manufacturing the Shenzhou-6 spacecraft. The triumphant Shenzhou-6 spaceflight operations commemorate the 46th successful blast-off out of a whole 88 launches from China's Long March rocket series. The Shenzhou-6 spacecraft was manufactured based on the design of Russia's Soyuz aircraft. It was further altered to add in additional equipments and systems. Initially, the space-craft was planned to consist of a primary re-entry capsule for the crew members, as well as an orbital and service module. The orbital module's function was to contain required equipments for experiments, food heater and a solar array which allows the module to stay in the space orbital for an extended period of time. The solar array's task can be palpably discerned upon when it was left in the space orbital while the crew members of the spaceflight had already taken their leave from outer space. Huang Chunping, the chief launch vehicle designer of the manned spaceflight program, had effectively implemented new technologies on Shenzhou-6's vehicle. As quoted from Beijing Times, he mentioned that the Shenzhou-6 spaceflight was well-equipped with a video transmission system, which facilitates ground controllers on Planet Earth to scrutinize and keep an eye on the separation of the rocket and spaceship live. Furthermore, in the case of emergencies, an enhanced escape system had been designed for the crew members. During a press conference, Tang Xianming, the director of China's Manned Space Engineering Office, proudly exclaimed that the successful Shenzhou-6 operation was "a milestone for China's space program". He also reckoned that the space mission was "a proof that the country is completely capable of carrying out its own space program independently".

6.1.1.2  Crew Members

Fei Junlong (Commander)

Fei Junlong, who was born in 1965, originated from Suzhou, the Jiangsu province of China. He used to belong to the People's Liberation Army - Air Force. During then, when he was 17, he took up the post of a fighter pilot. In 1998, he was appointed to become an astronaut.

He is currently married and has a son. 

 
Nie Haisheng (Flight Enginner)

Nie Haisheng, who was born on October 13th 1964, originated from the Yangdang town of Zaoyang. Similarly like Fei Junlong, upon graduation, he was recruited into the People's Liberation Army - Air Force and assumed the role of a fighter pilot. During his stint at the Air Force, Nie managed to attain the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1998, he was recruited into the astronaut-training program. He was one of the astronauts whom were exclusively selected to undergo intensive training for the Shenzhou-5 flight. However, Yang Liwei was singled out for the Shenzhou-5 flight.

He is married and has a daughter.

6.1.2 The Mission

The main objective of the Shenzhou-6 spaceflight mission was to explore and comprehend how astronauts acclimatize to outer space. To both the Chinese government and relevant space authorities, the spaceflight is of great importance as it is exceptionally beneficial for planning future human explorations in space.

Both Nie and Fei carried out experiments in the spacecrafts during their space expedition. These experiments included moving between the orbital module and the re-entry capsule, changing spacesuits, utilizing the in-built space toilets, et-cetera.

Both Nie and Fei spent an approximate five days (a recorded timing of 4 days, 19 hours and 32 mins) in outer space while the spaceflight circled the Earth seventy-six times in the form of distance.
The distance travelled by the Shenzhou-6 spaceflight was reported to be five times as much as the distance travelled by the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft in 2003.

6.1.3 Utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT)


Date

Events

12 October 2005, Wednesday

Chinese countrymen gather at the Beijing railway station to witness the live telecast of the launch of Shenzhou-6 spaceflight from a public screen. 

Both astronauts, Nie and Fei managed to converse with their family members from outer space. The highlight of their seven minute conversation, which also snagged most headlines across the various media, included the heart-warming conversation between Nie Haisheng and his family as they celebrated his 41st birthday in advance with the help of the given ICT medium.

14 October 2005, Friday

Upon utilizing the installed porthole transmission system, Nie and Fei manage to record video images of the Earth from outerspace.

15 October 2005, Saturday

The astronauts had a 5 minutes conversation with President Hu Jingtao.
During the conversational exchange, President Hu Jingtao was full of praises for both of them.
He told them, "The motherland and people are proud of you. I hope you will successfully complete your task by carrying out the mission calmly and carefully and have a triumphant return."

6.1.4 Shenzhou 5

On October 15th 2003, Shenzhou-5, the first manned spaceflight of the People's Republic of China, was launched into space. The only space crew, who was onboard Shenzhou-5, was Yang Liwei, a 38 year old Lieutenant Colonel from the People's Liberation Army.However, the space mission was plagued with controversies before its official launch. Both the launch and the re-entry back into Planet Earth were not being telecasted live on national television. Moreover, foreign journalists and news correspondents were not allowed into the country to conduct any live reporting with regards to the space event. Many people strongly believed that the government was behind the idea as, if the launch and re-entry fail, the country would have to bear the immense humiliation. However, shortly after the launching and re-entry affairs were deemed as successful, pictures and videos of the space events were uploaded onto the Internet promptly. 
 

References

Beijing XNA (March 7, 2005) Astronauts in Training for Second Manned Spaceflight. Space Daily. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/china-05z.html

Malik.T (October 11, 2005) Shenzhou 6 Away! China Launches Two Astronauts in Second Manned Spaceflight. Space.com. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/051011_china_shenzhou6_lnch.html

People.com (October 17, 2005) Key moments in Shenzhou-6 spaceflight. People's Daily Online. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from
http://english.people.com.cn/200510/17/eng20051017_214788.html

People.com (October 17, 2005) China spends 110 million US dollars on Shenzhou-6 spacecraft. Xinhua. Retrieved October 31, 2008 from
http://english.people.com.cn/200510/17/eng20051017_214810.html

People.com (October 19, 2005) News Analysis: China not to vie with other countries in space. Xinhua. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200510/19/eng20051019_215185.html

Stathopoulos.V (September 7, 2008) Shenzhou 6 - Second Manned Spaceflight. Retrieved November 1, 2008 from
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/worldspace/shenzhou6.html