Shenzhou-7 – China’s manned spacecraft – will be launched in a few days. One of the three taikonauts is scheduled to conduct a space walk. China successfully put two manned spacecraft into orbit in 2003 and 2005 respectively, becoming the third country to send an astronaut into space after the United States and the former Soviet Union.
But it looks like China does not only want to have satellites in space. The noble endavour is complemented by a more commercial approach. China has announced that it will soon be launching Venezuela’s first satellite. The Chinese-made satellite will cover several Latin American nations and make Venezuela self-sufficient in television, Internet and other communication transmissions. Oil against [tele]communications may well lead to a new kind of partnerships.