China will launch three men into space this week. The country introduced the three-man crew and said Russian technicians will help guide them on China’s first space walk.
The mission is expected to last about three days. It is the most challenging mission since China launched a person into space in 2003. The space walk will help China develop the technology for docking two orbiters. The information will be used to create China’s first space station.
The military space program has relied overwhelmingly on domestic technology and know-how, and cooperation with Russia has been highly limited. One of the astronauts will wear China’s homemade Feitian suit, while the other will a Russian-made suit.
The launch is scheduled for between 9:07 pm and 10:27 pm (1307 and 1427 GMT) on Thursday, Wang Zhaoyao, a spokesman for the manned space programme, said in a statement.
One of the astronauts will test the new Chinese-made spacesuit on the space walk. A second astronaut will participate in a de-compressor orbital module during the maneuver.