Source AP ©

China to make its first-ever spacewalk with Russia’s help

Russian technicians will help direct China's first-ever spacewalk this week, setting the stage for expanded cooperation between the countries, a spokesman for China's space program said Wednesday.

Two Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft will don spacesuits for the maneuver, one of them a Russian-made Orlan model, Wang Zhaoyao told reporters at the Jiuquan launch site in northwestern China.

The two will be "supported by Russian experts throughout the mission," Wang said.

The three-man mission, expected to last about three days, is China's most ambitious since it launched its first man into space in 2003. The spacewalk, known formally as an extravehicular activity or EVA, is expected to help China develop the technology for docking two orbiters to create China's first space station in the future.

China says its secretive military-backed space program has relied overwhelmingly on domestic technology and know-how, and cooperation with Russia has been highly limited. Some Chinese astronauts, sometimes called "taikonauts" for the Chinese word for space, are believed to have trained in Russia early on, but all now undergo preparations in facilities in China.

"The successful cooperation on the Shenzhou 7 manned mission will create favorable conditions for future cooperation between our two countries," Wang said, without giving details.

Wang gave no exact date or time for the spacewalk. He said the launch window for the mission at Jiuquan had been set at between 9:07 p.m. and 10:27 p.m. (1307 and 1427 GMT) on Thursday.

Although two astronauts will don suits, only one will leave the module to retrieve scientific experiments placed outside. Wang did not say who that astronaut would be or whether he would be wearing an Orlan suit or China's homemade Feitian suit.

Fighter Pilot Zhai Zhigang, 42, an unsuccessful candidate for the previous two manned missions, has been touted by the official Xinhua News Agency as the leading astronaut to carry out the spacewalk, expected to last about 40 minutes.

Reports differed over the timing of the spacewalk. While reports Tuesday said it would come on Friday afternoon, one day after the launch, the program's space application system director-general and chief designer was quoted as saying it would come on Saturday.

"In fact, it should happen on the second day after it enters orbit," Gu Yidong was quoted as saying by the Lanzhou Morning News, a newspaper in Gansu province where Jiuquan is located.

When the bill was submitted to Congress on August 2, the reason for imposing the new sanctions on Russia was based on Russia's alleged interference in the US presidential election in 2016, but then something clicked

US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?

The Central Bank of Turkey announced measures to protect the financial market of Turkey against the background of the collapse of the Turkish lira and conflict of interests with the United States of America

Turkey desperately tries to rescue its national currency as it falls to all-time lows
Comments
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Russia to build major naval base on the coast of Caspian Sea
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Turkey desperately tries to rescue its national currency as it falls to all-time lows
World War Three may break out because of USA's agony
World War Three may break out because of USA's agony
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Turkey and USA take their relationship to breaking point
Russia starts Star Wars first. USA concerned and puzzled
Russia to build major naval base on the coast of Caspian Sea
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
The end of the theory of a Nobel Prize in chemistry?
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Russia starts Star Wars first. USA concerned and puzzled
Russia starts Star Wars first. USA concerned and puzzled
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Turkey and USA take their relationship to breaking point
Iran shows new ICBM that can evade radars
USA and Turkey: The elephant kicks the barking pug aside
Venezuela: Once again, interference from the USA in Latin America