New Scientist recently reported another delay to China’s third crewed spaceflight that will feature a spacewalk. The reason proffered for the revised inflated schedule is to ensure the testing of the astronaut’s suit. But what seems to appear a little fishy is that the new date just happens to be a few weeks after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Huang, a leading rocket engineer on the project, also told the Beijing Morning Post that two astronauts may have a chance to walk in space. In April 2006, Chinese space officials said the flight would likely take place in September 2008, only weeks after Beijing hosts the Olympic games. Huang insisted that the flight was not being timed for the Olympics, but said preparations were advanced enough that the flight could be launched ahead of the games in August, the paper said.
Hmm. Sounds like the cat might be out of the bag.
China became the third nation to put a human into space in October 2003, with the main aim from the Shenzhou series is to construct a space station. China has previously announced plans for lunar missions, with a tentative date of 2020 for landing someone on the moon’s surface.
This curious pro-science image was taken from Stefan Landsberger’s Chinese Propaganda Poster Pages website.