Sunday, September 21, 2008

China's First Spacewalk Coming Soon

The upcoming Shenzhou 7 mission will feature Chin's first EVA. The spacesuits worn by the taikonauts in this video are clearly inspired by Russian designs, as is the spacecraft itself.

I glad the Chinese are making this push into space. The eventual expansion of humanity into space is not optional. Existential risks, both natural and man-made, can't be avoided forever. The longer we have all our eggs in one basket, the more vulnerable to extinction we become. Only by spreading human outposts off-planet can we be assured of survival. Whenever I hear discussions of the rationale for human exploration of space, the suvival of the race is seldom if ever mentioned, but in the end, that's what it's all about.

While the prospect of China overtaking America in space strikes a blow at my national pride, at least I can take comfort in knowing that someone, somewhere is still willing to push back the boundaries which will eventually spread humanity across the solar system.

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