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6.2.1 Background 

On September 25th 2008, Shenzhou-7, the third manned spaceflight from the People's Republic of China, was launched into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. Zhai Zhigang, the leading astronaut who performed the first ever spacewalk in the Chinese history, labeled the space operations as a "glorious mission, full of challenges with a perfect result."

The space mission lasted for 68 hours, which included the 20 minutes spacewalk. Many people brand the spacewalk as the "perfect walk". The latest mission included tasks such as to conduct a satellite data relay trial, to release a companion satellite, the changing of spacesuits activity by the astronauts, and the recovery of solid lubricant, et-cetera. The Space headquarters who headed the mission stated in the formal press that, "The mission proves that our overall technological level has been upgraded. There are great breakthroughs in many aspects."

According to Vic Stathopoulos of aerospaceguide.net, the successful spaceflight did demonstrate the following characteristics:

Number

Characteristics

1

The progress of China's space technology.

2

Enhanced China's prestige in the world and promoted China's economic, scientific and national defence capabilities.

3

Inspired patriotism and national cohesiveness.

4

Fostered the interests of people in China's vast rural regions on science and technology.

5

Chinese scientists mastered the technology for a multi-person, multi-day space mission.

6

Marked China's commitment to becoming a global space power.

7

Shenzhou 6 and 7 mission were a major step forward in China's ambition of building a space station and probing the moon. Shenzhou spacecraft is being used to develop manned spaceflight techniques and in the future may serve as a ferry to Chinese space stations and as a lunar orbital and landing spacecraft.

6.2.1.1  Crew Members




Zhai Zhigang (Commander)

Zhai, who was born on October 10, 1966, originated from Qiqhar, the Heilongjiang provinceofChina. He signed up for the People's Liberation Army - Air Force Aviation Institute and got enlisted to become a fighter pilot. Shortly after, he was appointed to become a squadron leader. In 1996, he was head-hunted for the selection trials of the austronaut training program. In 1998, he was officially recruited into the first batch of the training program. Fast forward to 2008, he became the first Chinese to conduct a spacewalk in the Earth's orbit. He is currently married and has a child.

Jing Haipeng (Descent Module Monitor Astronaut)

Jing, who was born on October 24th 1966, originated from the Shanxi province of China. Similarly like his fellow astronaut peers, he works as a fighter pilot at the People's Liberation Army - Air Force. In 1988, he was recruited to become an astronaut. He is currently married and has a child.

Liu Boming (Orbital Module Astronaut)

Liu, who was born on October 29th 1966, originated from the Heilongjiang provinceofChina. He works as a fighter pilot at the People's Liberation Army - Air Force. In 1998, he was recruited to become an astronaut. In 2008, Liu and Zhai were involved in the widely-anticipated spacewalk. Liu had to remain in the open orbital of the module so as to render a helping hand to Zhai, the main star of the spacewalk. He also had to hand Zhai the Chinese flag during the experiment.He is currently married and has a child.

6.2.2 Reliability of Information Communication Technology (ICT)

A source from the internet which originated from the UK, entitled Telegraph, claimed in their reports that the Chinese national media agency forged publications with regards to the Shenzhou-7 space reports. Besides labeling China's Xinhua news agency for "carrying state propaganda", the source revealed an alleged albeit astonishing fact which uncovers the forgery. It claims that an article which depicts the astronauts' maiden night in outer space was published on Xinhua's website prior to the launch of the space mission. Apparently, the article even pointed out that Xinhua news agency had admitted to this erroneous mistake made and had blatently claim that the error was caused by a technical glitch.

However, a search on the internet with regards to this issue did not produce any search results in the search engines. Perhaps, proponents of Telegraph may reckon that the Chinese government may be behind such acts to censor these damaging articles, so as to prevent themselves from being cast into a bad light, both by the local and foreign mass media. Conversely, it may also be a baseless and alleged accusation against the Chinese news agency and authorites by Telegragh.

Thus, as responsible readers, we must not believe everything which can be observed at face value. Instead, we ought to critically analyze for ourselves and take information which we receive through the various ICT mediums with a pinch of salt as dangers do lurk behind the facade of these ICT mediums.

References

Chinaview.cn (September 17, 2008). China names first "spacewalker" astronaut. Xinhua. Retrieved on November 1, 2008 from
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/17/content_10050286.htm

Chinaview.cn (September 28, 2008). China taikonauts return as heroes after landmark spacewalk. Xinhua. Retrieved on November 1, 2008 from
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-09/28/content_10128407.htm

Sinodefence.com (October 4, 2008). Shenzhou 7 Human Spaceflight Mission. Sinodefence. Retrieved on November 2, 2008 from
http://www.sinodefence.com/space/project/shenzhou7.asp

Stathopoulos.V (September 7, 2008). Shenzhou 7 Third Manned Spaceflight. Aerospaceguide. Retrieved on November 1, 2008 from
http://www.aerospaceguide.net/worldspace/shenzhou7.html

Telegraph.co (September 26, 2008). China fakes reports from space. Telegraph. Retrieved on November 2, 2008 from
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/3082804/China-fakes-reports-from-space.html&nbsp