Feeds

China's Shenzhou VII is go

Third manned mission blasts off

Application security programs and practises

China's Shenzhou VII spacecraft blasted off today at 13:10 GMT from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province atop a Long-March II-F rocket. The mission marks the communist state's third manned space jaunt, and the first to include a spacewalk - if all goes according to plan.

The Shenzou VII launch. Pic: XinhuaThe timing of the spacewalk depends on the time it takes the crew of three (Jing Haipeng, Zhai Zhigang and Liu Bomingto) to "adjust" to conditions aloft. They are apparently supplied with a traditional remedy* which will in this case combat the effects of "space motion sickness", and astronaut** research official Li Yongzhi told Xinhua news agency: "It is made of more than 10 types of Chinese herbs, and has proven to be effective in improving the astronauts' cardiovascular conditions."

The mission is due to last around three days, and China has deployed five satellite tracking ships to keep tabs on Shenzhou VII, while helicopters and vehicles are on standby to meet it when it returns to Earth in Inner Mongolia.

Shenzou VII is, according to space scientist Jiao Weixin of Peking University, simply a stepping stone in China's ambitious extraterrestrial programme. He told Reuters: "The current manned spacecraft is just a tool toward a space station. It's laying a foundation for the future."

Indeed, President Hu Jintao told the three astronauts before the launch: "This will be a major step forward for our country's aerospace technology. You can certainly fulfill this glorious and sacred task. The motherland and its people await your triumphant return."

China's first manned space mission was in 2003, when Yang Liwei spent 21 hours in orbit. He was followed into the ether in 2005 by former fighter pilots Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng in the Shenzhou VI capsule.

Xinhua has more on the mission, with pictures, here. ®

Bootnotes

*Yes, the remedy is traditional, in the sense that it's traditional, or already existed, long before China eyed the stars. Hence our use of the word "traditional", taken from Xinhua's description of it as a "traditional remedy".

**Or "taikonaut", if you prefer. According to Xinhua, this is a combination of the Chinese "taikong" (space) and "naut". Fair enough, we reckon. After all, if the Russians can have "cosmonaut"...

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.