Special Report: Third Manned Space Mission
BEIJING, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Following are some facts and figures about Shenzhou-7, China's third manned spacecraft, which will be put to orbit on Thursday.
-- The Shenzhou (Divine Vessel) Seven carries Chinese astronauts, Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng. The trio, all born in 1966, joined into China's manned space program in 1998. The highlight of their mission is a spacewalk.
-- The spacecraft, which consists of the orbital module, re-entry module and propelling module, is designed for a voyage of up to five days. But the Shenzhou-7 mission will only last about three days.
-- Scientists, engineers and other staff working for the mission are grouped into eight different systems -- astronauts system, space application system, manned spacecraft system, rocket system, launch pad system, remote control and communications system, landing system and space laboratory system.
-- An astronauts will carry out a 30-minute extravehicular activity (EVA), but it takes nearly 15 hours to assemble and put on the EVA suit. The EVA task includes retrieving a three-kilogram solid lubricant experiment device placed at the exterior of the spacecraft module.
-- A total of 30 emergency plans have been made for the space walk alone.
80 food varieties
-- The astronauts will have an extended menu of nearly 80 foods, as compared to the 50-odd varieties in the 2005 Shenzhou-6 mission. Choices include spicy kung-pao chicken, deshelled shrimp and dry fruits.
-- The 100-meter-tall launch tower is equipped with an emergency slide way for astronauts. It is about 1,500 meters away from the ground control center.
220 technical modifications
-- Compared with Shenzhou-6, more than 200 technical modifications have been made to Shenzhou-7.
-- The Shenzhou-7 will fly in a circular orbit 343 kilometers above the Earth after an orbit transfer from an elliptical orbit.
-- The spaceship will be carried into orbit at about 583 seconds after a blast-off with the Long March II-F rocket.