Special Report:Third Manned Space Mission
Picture released by China's manned space project on
Oct. 5, 2008 shows the image of China's Shenzhou-7 spaceship, taken by a
small monitoring satellite six seconds after it was released from the
spaceship on Sept. 27, 2008. Launched about two hours after Chinese astronaut
Zhai Zhigang finished the country's first spacewalk, the monitoring satellite has sent
back over 1,000 pictures of the spaceship. The shadow on the spaceship
was that of the monitoring satellite. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists on
Sunday successfully directed the accompanying satellite BX-1 to begin circling
the Shenzhou-7 spaceship, on an elliptical track of 4 kilometers multiplying 8
It is the first time that China has succeeded in
maneuvering this kind of space orbiting, official sources say.
The accompanying satellite began orbiting the orbital
capsule of the Shenzhou-7 at 18:14 pm, under the close monitoring and precise
control of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
The BX-1 rode the Shenzhou-7 into the space on
September 25 and it was launched by the spacecraft two days later. Since
September 30, the control center changed its track six times to draw it closer
to the space vehicle step by step, and finally it succeeded in orbiting the
Over the past days, the monitoring satellite has shot
over 1,000 pictures of the spaceship from different angles. All the pictures are
clear and complete, said an official with the space program.
The photos were condensed and stored after they were
taken by the cameras installed on the satellite. The BX-1 shot its first photo
six seconds after being released.
In one of the pictures published by the official, the spacecraft was flying like an eagle with the Earth as its background.