Chinese taikonauts (L-R) Jing Haipeng,
Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming wave during a press conference at the Jiuquan
Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 24,
2008. The Shenzhou-7 spaceship will carry the three taikonauts, all aged
42, for China's third manned space mission that will include the country's
first-ever space walk.(Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's Shenzhou-7 astronauts will take traditional Chinese medicine in their spaceflight to treat space motion sickness, a doctor with the astronauts training center said on Thursday.
The medicine, prepared in capsule forms, is called "Taikong Yangxin (space heart-nourishing) Capsule". It can be diluted with water and taken to treat motion sickness in the space flight, saidLi Yongzhi, director of medical department of the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.
"It is made of more than ten types of Chinese herbs, and has proven to be effective in improving the astronauts' cardiovascular conditions," she said.
The medicines are specially developed remedies for the mission, Li said. They have passed pathological and clinical tests and have been approved by the government supervising authorities.
Li and her colleagues have been working with China's first generation of astronauts for a decade. They collated their physical data during training and space flights, and concocted different prescriptions for each astronaut.
Taikonauts Yang Liwei, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, who flew in 2003 and 2005, took the herbal medicines before and after their space flight but not during their space missions.
The medications they took, including herbal tea, enabled them to sleep better and recuperate between training sessions, doctors with the center said.
"Compared with the western medicine, the traditional Chinese medicine has less side effects, and can help taikonauts recover from stress and fatigue," she said.
The three Shenzhou-7 taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng are scheduled to take off between 9:07 p.m and 10:27 p.m. on Thursday. The highlight of their mission is a spacewalk.
Li said the pills on the spacecraft will be particularly useful for the two astronauts who are scheduled to carry out the extra-vehicular activities. "The medicine will boost their physical conditions and improve their adaptability in an extreme environment," she said.
Li said that the medications will be mass-produced for market sales in the future.