First Images of Spacewalk!
(Courtesy of MITBBS)
The spacewalk took place between 4:30PM to 5:00PM Beijing Time today and was broadcast live. There was a little bit of wait opening the very tight hatch, and a scare of a false report of “fire”, but otherwise it was a successful, first excursion into space.
On the broadcast, Zhai (Oh-One) was heard breathing heavily and struggling with the hatch, while Liu Boming (Oh-Two) told him to take a deep breath:
Liu: Keep at it, don’t let go yet, don’t let go yet
Zhai: It snaps back by itself… the hatch closed back up
Liu: You hold there, … I’ll lift this
Zhai: Oh-Two, don’t push forward just yet, I’ll give it one more try
Liu: Use normal force, don’t use too much effort, jam it with your body
On the second try, the hatch was fully opened. Zhai emerged into space, waved at the camera, and made the following speech:
Shenzhou 7 reporting, I have exited the craft, and I feel fine. Shenzhou 7 greets the people of our country, and the people of the world! Nation, rest assured, we are determined to complete our mission!
Only a moment later, with Zhai half out and Liu just inside the open hatch, this amazing exchange took place. Jing Haipeng (Oh-Three), who remained in the re-entry module to monitor the spacecraft, reported a fire:
Jing: Instrument shows orbital module has fire, caution to investigate
Mission control: “Beijing” affirmative, report to “Great Wall” … “Great Wall”, this is “Beijing”, instrument shows orbital module has fire, please copy…
Jing: Shenzhou 7 reporting, instruement shows orbital module has fire.
Mission control: “Beijing” affirmative. Oh-Two, please investigate.
Liu: Oh-Two affirmative.
Liu: No fire found, no spark.
Zhai: How could there be a fire in vacuum.
Mission control: “Great Wall”, this is “Beijing” … this is “Great Wall” … “Great Wall” please confirm spacecraft instrument status.
The video signal cut out for a tense minute and we only heard:
Liu: Anyway, Oh-One, we continue.
Liu: If there is a fire, it is already too late, let it be.
Finally the signal returned, and we see Zhai waving the Chinese flag handed to him by Liu Boming. Turns out there was no fire and everybody breathed a sigh of relief.
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