Washington, Nov.22 : China will attempt its first space walk during the nation's third crewed flight next year, according to local newspaper reports.
The mission will involve three astronauts and the spacewalk will be broadcast live.
In 2003, China became only the third country to put a human in space using its own rocket, following in the footsteps of the former Soviet Union and the United States. It then sent two astronauts on a five-day flight on its Shenzhou VI rocket in October 2005.
China plans to launch its third manned rocket, Shenzhou VII, into space in October 2008, according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
"The (astronauts) will walk in space for the first time and each move will be broadcast live," said Pang Zhihao, a researcher with the China Academy of Space Technology.
The astronauts will be tethered to the spacecraft, but could walk "as far as five metres", Pang said.
China has also said that, within five years, it will produce a new generation of more powerful rockets to send heavyweight satellites and space stations into orbit.
The nation announced last month that the new Long March 5 carrier rockets would be made in the northern port city of Tianjin, but launched from a centre being built on the tropical southern island of Hainan.
China would start building the rockets at the end of 2009 at a 4.5 billion yuan (606 million dollar) base in Tianjin currently under construction, the paper said. (ANI)
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