Knowing the x thing, logics of universe the space research is forwarding to the findings and utilities of the universe,
China Launches Risky Space Mission;
Sept. 25, 2008 -- China on Thursday launched its riskiest space flight yet, sending three men into orbit around the Earth on a mission that will include the nation's first ever space walk, state media said.
The Shenzhou VII spacecraft lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 9:10 p.m. (1310 GMT) in the presence of President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders, state television reported live.
As the rocket quickly became a white speck against the black night sky, technical staff kept in constant communication with the three astronauts, who were shown waving to a camera installed in the shuttle cabin.
President Hu earlier saw off the three, led by 41-year-old Zhai Zhigang, as they prepared for their 68-hour journey to space and back.
"I have come to send you off, to wish you success," Hu said in the televised meeting, carried out with the formality of an ancient Confucian ritual.
Zhai, an airforce colonel who grew up in abject poverty in China's bleak northeast, is expected to carry out the 30-minute space walk either Friday or more likely Saturday, according to state media.
"We're determined to complete the manned space mission of Shenzhou VII," Zhai told Hu. "The motherland and the people can rest at ease."
Getting comfortable with the art of spacewalking is a crucial next step in China's most immediate extra-terrestrial ambition: to build a permanent space lab.
By 2010 two more unmanned craft will have been sent up, as well as another manned spaceship with a crew of three to start work on the lab, according to the China Daily.
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the mission was part of China's effort to "explore and make peaceful use of outer space."
"We believe this will further promote our space flight technology and make a contribution to the peaceful use of outer space for all human beings. We wish the Shenzhou VII mission a complete success," he said.
The astronauts have trained together for over a decade, but the mission is not without its risks, notably the space walk.
"The process of (space walks) cannot be simulated completely on the ground," said Wang Zhaoyao, spokesman of the manned space mission.
"Some of the newly developed products have to be tested in flight for the first time."
One of the astronauts -- government websites have said it will be Zhai -- will test a new Chinese-made spacesuit on the space walk.
Coming just a month after the end of the Beijing Olympics, the mission may trigger a new burst of nationalist pride in some segments of the population.
Space enthusiasts hoping to witness for themselves China's next bid for greatness have been converging on Jiuquan, a city of about 340,000 people, mostly farmers and miners, in a remote part of Gansu province.
A middle school teacher surnamed Chen from the provincial capital, Lanzhou, was part of a group of 200 who would be bused the 174 miles to the launch center to watch Shenzhou -- its name means "Divine Vessel" -- blast off.
"The education department of Gansu has arranged for us to go. We're coming from all around the province. It'll help push forward science and technology education," he said.
China first sent a man into space in 2003, becoming the third nation after the United States and the former Soviet Union to accomplish this feat.
The pioneer astronaut, Yang Liwei, became a national hero and is still featured at major events, acting as one of the torch bearers in the Olympic torch relay ahead of the August Beijing Games.
The country's second manned space mission in 2005 sent two men into orbit for 115 hours, with the task of studying living and working conditions in space.
China's manned space program is characterized by its frugality compared with the U.S. and Soviet programs in the 1960s, and it does not repeat a test or an experiment that has already proved successful, observers say.
The Shenzhou VII is scheduled to land in the northern Inner Mongolia region after the mission is completed.