New Delhi, Sep 17: Zhai Zhigang has been named as China's first 'spacewalker' astronaut, who will be part of the country's third manned space mission, which will last from September 25-28. The other astronauts, who will be on board the spacecraft Shenzhou VII, are Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng. The most likely takeoff time for Shenzhou VII is 9:10 pm on Sept 25, according to the website China.com.cn.
Upon the spaceship's entry into orbit a scheduled 582 seconds after liftoff, Jing will remain in the descent module while Zhai and Liu will move to the vacuum orbital module. hai is expected to conduct a 40-minute spacewalk between Sept 26 and Sept 27, with Liu as his substitute. As part of the session, Zhai will retrieve an undisclosed amount of 'solid lubrication material' placed beside the gate of the orbital module.
Before he does that, Liu will help him put on a special spacesuit that weighs in at about 120 kg and is worth 100 million Yuan.
According to Chen, despite worries of airsickness, the preferred schedule for Zhai's spacewalk has been pushed forward to the end of his second day in space.
The international routine is to spacewalk during an astronauts' third or fourth day in space.