Launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launching
Center; landing in Inner Mongolia; third Chinese manned spaceflight.
Zhigang performed the the first spacewalk of a Chinese
on September 27, 2008 (22m). He was wearing a Chinese Feitian spacesuit.
Zhigang was assisted by
Boming who made a stand-up
wearing a Russian Orlan suit. During this spacewalk
Zhigang retrieved an experiment mounted to Shenzhou
VII's exterior. The Shenzhou VII
made the Chinese space program the third to have conducted an
had previously been conducted by the space programs of the Soviet Union (later
Russia) and the United States.
The Feitian spacesuit is similar to the
Orlan-M (known as Haiying) in shape and volume and are designed for spacewalks
of up to seven hours, providing oxygen and allowing for the excretion of bodily
waste. According to Chinese media reports, spacesuit materials with such
features as fire and radiation resistance were developed by several civilian
corporations and national institutes. Each suit was reported to have cost 30
million RMB (about 4.4 million USD). Except for the gloves of the Feitian suit,
the space suits were not brought back to earth
A miniaturized satellite
was released during the mission on September 27, 2008 at 19:24
Zhigang returned to the spacecraft. The satellite was a
cube about 40 cm (16 in) long, with a mass of 40 kilograms (88 lb); it carried
boost devices and two 150-megapixel stereo cameras. The satellite's tasks
included testing the mini-satellite technology, observing and monitoring the
spacecraft, and testing the tracking and approaching technology used for space
rendezvous and docking.
The miniaturized satellite took photos and videos
near the spacecraft, then maneuvered to about 100 to 200 kilometres (62 to 120
mi) away from the spacecraft. After the return module separated from the
spacecraft and re-entered the atmosphere, the satellite caught up to the
orbiting spacecraft using a liquid ammonia engine, then continue to orbit
around the spacecraft. The mini-satellite will work for about three
Scientists conducted a solid lubricant exposure experiment
during the mission. A piece of equipment the size of a book was installed on
the outside wall of the orbital module, and was later retrieved during the
space walk, after having been exposed in space for more than 40 hours. The
experiment was aimed to study a lubricant which will be used for space-based
moving components in future space facilities.