Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Mission Is A Success...

...Oh Wait, They Haven't Blasted Off Yet

Chinese News Article, Including Vivid Details, Printed Before Launch (Published on Thu, Sep 25, 2008)

Posted two days before the launch even takes place, the article vividly describes the dialogue between the astronauts, the crowd’s response, and the sights of the ship taking off.
The article, dated two days from now on Sept. 27, vividly described the rocket in flight, complete with a sharply detailed dialogue between the three astronauts.
Excerpts are below:
“After this order, signal lights all were switched on, various data show up on rows of screens, hundreds of technicians staring at the screens, without missing any slightest changes …
‘One minute to go!’
‘Changjiang No.1 found the target!’…
“The firm voice of the controller broke the silence of the whole ship. Now, the target is captured 12 seconds ahead of the predicted time …
‘The air pressure in the cabin is normal!’
“Ten minutes later, the ship disappears below the horizon. Warm clapping and excited cheering breaks the night sky, echoing across the silent Pacific Ocean.”

Xinhua, the state-run news service, is attributing the posting to a “technical error”. No explanation for why they already have the story written complete with dialogue.

The Shenzhou 7 mission (meaning “sacred vessel) carried three taikonauts (the Chinese term for Astronauts) into space on the country’s third manned space mission in five years and feature China's first-ever spacewalk. It took off Thursday 27th September (or 2 days after the article!)
Let's hope Xinhau at least comes up with some fresh quotes from the astronauts.
Zhai Zhigang, an unsuccessful candidate for the previous two manned missions, is the astronaut who carried out the walk. The two other astronauts were Jin Haipeng and Liu Boming. They are all 42-year-old fighter pilots. And because it’s the little details that count (!), they had a choice of nearly 80 foods, including spicy "kung-pao" chicken. They also took traditional Chinese medicine made of more than ten herbs to treat space motion sickness.