The Moment

Xinhua / AP

Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang walks outside the orbit module of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft for a spacewalk

At the Beijing olympics, China proved it was best in the world at coming in first by dominating the gold-medal count. On Sept. 27 the country showed it can also be very happy with bronze. Forty-three years after cosmonaut Alexei Leonov spent 12 minutes outside an orbiting spacecraft, China became the third nation after the former Soviet Union and the U.S. to conduct a spacewalk.

In technological accomplishment, the three-man mission had a 1960s twang. During his 13-minute sortie outside the Shenzhou VII capsule, Zhai Zhigang demonstrated the effectiveness of...

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