China Completes Shenzhou 7 Mission; Taikonaut Conducts First Spacewalk

The Shenzhou 7 spacecraft touched down in Northern China on Sunday afternoon, successfully returning taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng to Earth after a 68-hour flight that thrilled the Chinese nation.

The flight’s main highlight was a 20-minute spacewalk in which Zhai climbed outside of the spaceship clutching a Chinese flag. The nation’s first spacewalk was broadcast live throughout China.

This was the third successful manned flight of the Shenzhou, which is similar to the Russian Soyuz transport. China plans to eventually construct a space station in Earth orbit.