BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's Shenzhou 7 spacecraft has a slim
chance to land out of China, an expert with the space project said on Sunday.
The video grab taken at the Beijing Space Command and Control
Center on Sept. 27, 2008 shows Chinese taikonauts (L-R) Jing Haipeng, Zhai
Zhigang and Liu Boming talk on the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 with Chinese President
Hu Jintao who is in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 27, 2008.(Xinhua Photo/Chen
Except for the major and the standby landing sites, China has a large
territory where set many emergency sites, said An Zhenhua, main designer of the
landing system of China's manned space projects.
China has the possibility to chose foreign counties for landing in extreme
conditions, which should be decided by the headquarter, An said.
The option counties, who had signed agreements with China, have the
responsibilities to help searching for the spacecraft and return it to China, he
If it goes on successfully, the re-entry module will be found within half
an hour to one hour, said An, whose team had attended the space projects ever
since Shenzhou 1.
"We are confident to find the re-entry module before dark," he said.
However, uncertain elements still exist. Detailed emergency plans had been
made and helicopters, airplane with paratroopers had been standby according to
the plans, An said.
As of 2:00 p.m. Sunday, the space environment is stable and calm, which is
favorable for the operation of the module and the taikonauts, according to the
last forecast before landing from the Center for Space Environment Research and
Forecast (CSERF) under Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The geomagnetic activities will be in a low level from Sept. 28 to 30,
which will provide a favorable environment to taikonauts.
As of 2:00 p.m., the spaceship which blasted off Thursday at Jiuquan
Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gansu Province, has made 44 orbits
around the earth as scheduled.
The re-entry module will complete it mission on its 46 orbits and land on
the earth at around 5:44 Sunday.
The trio onboard Shenzhou-7 started preparing on Sunday morning for the
return trip to the earth after accomplishing China's first spacewalk on Saturday
The three taikonauts were taking on in-cabin space suits at 11:10 a.m. and
control data for the return trip would be sent to the spacecraft.