Did the Chinese fake their space walk?

By Phil Plait | October 8, 2008 9:53 am


I assume, as usual, you want more info, though!

There is a rumor going around that the Chinese government faked their space walk last week. I’m getting email about an article in The Epoch Times, and the article has obvious leanings against the Chinese government. I’m no fan of their government either, to be honest, but this article has many signs of the authors wearing tin foil changshans. They bring up the suspicious timing of the spacewalk, for example, as it comes when China is under attack about poisoned milk:

Political analysts say that due to tremendous domestic and international pressure, the Chinese regime moved up its spacewalk in hopes to shift focus away from the milk scandal.

What political analysts? Odd that the two journalists who wrote the article, Zhang Haishan and Shi Yu, wouldn’t actually list any obvious sources. All they ever do is quote unnamed Chinese bloggers, and never go to any other sources. It’s things like that which should set off your baloney detectors.

The claims themselves are pretty bad, too. Below is a video of the spacewalk. The article claims this was all shot underwater, in a practice tank!

As it plays, watch when the hatch opens. See the debris blowing out? The article claims these are bubbles! That’s really silly. It’s obviously debris from inside the craft. Again, an unnamed blogger says that if this were filmed underwater, the bubbles rose too fast. The authors claim it’s possible a fan blew them.


Watch as the taikonaut comes out of the hatch. Observe his movements. Imagine him in a bulky suit underwater, then watch as he waves to the camera. That’s clearly not underwater; his motions are too rapid to be impeded by water. The movement of the straps and other things hanging off the suit don’t look like they are underwater either; they look like they are in microgravity.

Another claim is that you can see banks of lights reflected off the taikonauts wrist reflectors. I watched carefully, and all I see reflected in the mirrors are the black of space, with occasional reflections of the Earth above. I think it’s the latter that’s claimed to be the lights.

My opinion: all in all, this sounds like yet more conspiracy theorists looking for things that aren’t there, and making stuff up as they see fit. This reads just like an article by Moon hoaxers, looking for anything they don’t understand and trying to wedge some nuttiness into reality.

Tip o’ the spacesuit visor to Steven Andreadis and Leonard David.


Comments (94)

  1. rob

    if the video also showed 12 year old girls shooting fireworks, then i might get suspicious.

  2. Todd W.


    If that was really in space, why aren’t there any stars? Also, they clearly sped up the footage to make it seem like it wasn’t underwater. And at the end of the clip, they totally gave away that they used computer graphics, because everyone knows that the Earth doesn’t have red and pale rings with Chinese letters orbiting it.

    [ouch, that hurt to write]

  3. Gary Ansorge

    Looks like their hatch was just barely big enough to allow the taikonaut to maneuver. I expect that anything that reflects honorably on the government would be criticized by those opposed to it.

    Their space suit seems pretty cool. Wonder how much it costs???

    Go Joss Whedon and Firefly. Your vision seems to be close to the way things will be. Guess I’d better start learning to swear in Chinese,,,

    GAry 7

  4. Drew

    Well, as a certified scuba diver with roughly 1000 dives over the last 20 years, I can say that the debris didn’t look or act like any bubbles I have ever seen.

    However, none of the movements of the taikonaut are inconsistent with what you can do u/w, and the tethers certainly behaved as I would expect if they were positively bouyant.

    But maybe that is how things are in space, and maybe that is why NASA uses a tank to practice with.

    Im not saying this was filmed u/w, but you can’t tell by movement alone that it wasn’t…

  5. Luis Plata

    The article also claims that the earth does not move at all during the video. The clouds will tell you otherwise!
    Maybe the meant the size of the earth? But that shouldn’t change if they’re in orbit though.

  6. Jeffxandra

    Wait, I know Steven Andreadis! I have to go bug him!

  7. justcorbly

    Ever see any of those photos amateurs take of ISS from their backyards? Not bad. Now, imagine what the pros can see and hear. That’s why I’m always amused when someone goes off about secret Shuttle flights or some other nonsense. Us minions wouldn’t know any better, but those who are paid to know would know. Likewise, if someone wanted to make the effort, I’m sure they could have watched the Chinese EVA in progress. Does anyone doubt that the cameras on the ground looking up are any less powerful than the cameras in the sky looking down?

  8. sam

    It is clearly stop motion..

  9. mapnut

    I think the Epoch Times is affiliated with the Falun Gong, the religious group that has been persecuted in China and has been protesting here in New York City. I don’t have any proof, I just think I have seen the same people in the demonstrations and later handing out the Epoch Times. I haven’t seen any Falun Gong demonstrations for a year or more now.

  10. Scott

    I’m really surprised so far nobody said anything about the flag waving in space… because we all know that flags waving in space are a dead give–away!

  11. Not that I think the Chinese faked it, but in this day and age, how easily or hard is it to CGI a video of a space walk? We saw during the Olympics the enhancements the Chinese added to the telecast that “fooled” a lot of people.

    In this case, if we were suspicious, how else could we verify yay or nay?

  12. Bigfoot

    Phil, I don’t doubt the authenticity of the spacewalk, but there WAS an interesting tidbit on Yahoo news before the space launch — the Chinese had posted a news story of their successful launch BEFORE they launched, complete with astronaut dialogue that had reportedly taken place during and after the launch, etc.

    That said, it is clear the video was not faked. Why risk major embarassment in the face of the Olympics “live” event gaffes and the gymnast age scandals (which, while not covered in China, and while officially largely settled in China’s favor, have been a huge source of public embarrassment for China bureaucrats dealing with the outside world).

    China could not have expected to fail at something that has been practiced for over 40 years and has had all the engineering issues worked out long ago. I think if the spacewalk failed or didn’t happen, the Chinese would have covered it up by not simply covering it, or noting it dismissively with a small back-page note saying how they had a small delay and would be doing it for sure real soon, which would likely have been true.

  13. IVAN3MAN

    There was no need for the Chinese to fake their space walk, as this news report shows:

    China Launches First Willing Manned Mission Into Space

  14. Todd W.


    Epoch Times is indeed the newspaper of the Falun Gong cult being persecuted in China.

  15. Bill H.

    Everything is faked. These comments are faked. Phil wrote them all and he isn’t real either.

  16. Yeah, you are fake too. You are a robot renegade cop, typing away fake comments in some underwater tank on a sound stage in Antarctica. 😉

  17. Philippec

    Ok, now apart for the NOT faked thing….

    Why is it that it took numerous attempts to open the hatch?

    So that all the air inside could get out and equalize the pressure to the outside? Shouldn’t that take like only 1 second or 2?

    Or maybe it is just because that they forgot to lubricate the hinges before lauch…

  18. domsbombz


    Dude, there aren’t any stars because of the reflection of the Earth. Because of the astronauts’ closeness to the Earth, the Earth’s reflection out powers the light from stars, which is relatively weak compared to the the more immediate and abundant light from the sun.

    Basic science.

    Also, you can see what appears to be a source light from the camera in the reflection of the face mask.

  19. Viewer 3

    Everyone knows that John McCain faked last night’s debate. That was clearly a sound stage, and that Obama was clearly CGI.

  20. I think you mean tinfoil dǒu lì.

  21. kuhnigget

    The spacewalk was obviously faked. If the astronauts were really on orbit they would have run into Sanjase’s flying saucer.

  22. Daffy

    Amazing how many people immediately label anyone who questions the moon landings as a “woo woo,” but are perfectly willing to believe the Chinese could pull off a space walk hoax. Because, I suppose, communists are magical in some way.

    Hello…the same arguments that apply to the moon landings apply here! The most obvious one being that governments around the world COULD TRACK THE WHOLE THING.

  23. Peter Backus

    I remember reading a magazine article when I was a kid. It described how the Soviets faked their first space walk. “It’s deja vu all over again.”

  24. Philippec Says: “Why is it that it took numerous attempts to open the hatch? So that all the air inside could get out and equalize the pressure to the outside? Shouldn’t that take like only 1 second or 2?”

    If they borrowed mission rules from us (a good idea if you want to come home alive), then he was practicing closing the hatch to make sure it would re-seal. If it didn’t, then they wouldn’t go outside because they’d have to fix it first. You can’t come home again.

    The cabin had to be already vented before they open the hatch. I don’t know if the Chinese use a dual gas (O2-N2) or just O2, but even at 5 PSI (O2 only) there would be over 3,500 lbs (16,000 N) holding the hatch closed. With a dual gas system there would be two or three times that much.
    What you saw blowing the debris out into space was just a tiny bit of residual gas, probably used to test the seal in the hatch.

    I have no official knowledge of the mission, this is just an educated guess.

    – Jack

  25. I also do not doubt the authenticity of the space walk. I applaud China for taking these baby steps into space exploration. I was born a little too late for Apollo, but I was there for Skylab, Voyager, Viking, and the Space Shuttle, so I get excited when I see something (if somewhat) new in space. In fact, I would love for China to go to the moon and attempt operating a base there, just to rub it in our face. It might get Congress and NASA motivated enough to get them into doing some real pioneering in manned exploration.

    One thing that does bug me, and I’m sure many of the Tinfoil Origami Quilting Circle are already harping about, is the debris itself. From the video I saw there seemed to be a bit of it. I don’t remember seeing a noticeable amount of debris coming from that hatches from previous spacewalks I’ve witnessed. Of course, I’m sure this is all part of the conspiracy; NASA filming spacewalks at the Area 51 Film Studio B. But, I am concerned with the amount of space junk we have up there to begin with. I remember reading an article, before the first components of the ISS were sent up, on the safety of the station from debris of the junk we’ve left out there.

    So I guess my questions is, why was there so much debris flying out of the airlock?

  26. Oh, and speaking of Chinese Fakes:

    I know neither Phil nor Discovery can’t really control this, but I had a giggle.

  27. Andy Beaton

    I can tell it’s a fake by the so-called “round” planet in the background. It looks good and flat to me when i look out my window.

  28. Todd W.


    Heh. I know. I was just parodying the moon hoax believers. I thought the “hurt to write” comment at the end made it clear I was joking. :)

  29. TheDoLittle Says: “One thing that does bug me is the debris itself. From the video I saw there seemed to be a bit of it. I don’t remember seeing a noticeable amount of debris coming from that hatches from previous spacewalks I’ve witnessed. I am concerned with the amount of space junk we have up there to begin with. I remember reading an article, before the first components of the ISS were sent up, on the safety of the station from debris of the junk we’ve left out there. So I guess my questions is, why was there so much debris flying out of the airlock?”

    This was their first spacewalk, and they don’t have all the procedures down yet. Our first EVA (Gemini IV) didn’t have live TV, of course, but even the 16mm sequence camera showed a stray glove floating out of the hatch while Ed White was outside.

    I wouldn’t be too concerned with what they left in orbit on this flight. It’s low enough that all that stuff will be back down in a month or two. It’s more of a problem with the ISS since its orbit is some three times higher.

    – Jack

  30. dre

    I love that video.

    I, too, thought at first that the fella was fighting the hatch – “Don’t they have a pressure release valve to let that air out?” The thought was reinforced by the funny “Hooooee!” the guy let out as he opened it wide the first time, like he was lifting a pig onto the back his pickup truck.

    Then the instructions for the hatch blew out into space AW DAMMIT!

  31. Radwaste

    It’s a sad thing, but there are a lot of people who cannot cope, and they resent those who can enough to try to bring them down. Especially in religious argument, the definition of “true” is “what they believe”.

  32. BigBob

    I’m hoping that Chinese ops in space will help to motivate our governments as regards space endevours. I read somewhere that one response to Sputnik was renewed investment in education, particularly science education in the States. Maybe other blogees could confirm or deny that. Ok, circumstances are very different now, but it might just help to get science and education higher up the priority list. I can dream. Also I’m full of admiration for the taikonauts. They no more determine their country’s human rights attitude than did the Mercury 7 back in the 60s.

  33. Grand Lunar

    I actually feel proud for China taking these first steps into space.

    I really do wish we could join them as we joined Russia. I’d be willing to invite China on the ISS even.

    The message we ought to give is that in space, there are no political lines. We are all one.

  34. RichieRich

    This brings to mind the filmclip I remember seeing, shortly after the first Soviet spacewalk (in 1963?), which was also branded a fake by a few nutjobs (though, being young at the time, I didn’t know they were nutjobs). I still have a picture in my mind’s eye of seeing a still photograph, showing Gagarin (?) hanging outside his capsule. Narrator says “But it would have been impossible, in a pressure suit, to hold his legs THAT close together–let us show you what happens when we ENHANCE the photo–look, you can see the ropes holding his legs together!”

    And here we are, 40-something years later, with nutjobs making the same claims.

    At least, back then, there was a drive to show a Commie couldn’t do something before an American could–what do you suppose the rationale is this time?

  35. jpenzien

    Wasn’t there a news article on discovermagazine.com about how people, when faced with events they don’t understand, subconsciously make up patterns (even though they may not be correct patterns) in an attempt to make sense of things?

  36. Scott, I actually did call the Chinese out on their flag-waving, way back when: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/09/27/astro-quickies/#comment-121566

    Viewer3, my mild dyslexia somehow assembled the word “groin” from pieces of other words in your comment about the debate. I thought you were suggesting that McCain faked a groin pull to end the debate. Which would be interesting, to say the least.

  37. Oh God, please don’t cite the Epoch Times. That’s like referencing a Scientology article on psychiatrists. It’s a bit of a giggle actually how Falun Gong gets a whole lot of mention all through this “current affairs” newspaper as well as the Communist government although the latter always in a highly critical way.

  38. AussieM

    I’ve got to say that when it comes to achievements in space travel I have a tendency to forget ideological differences.

    Well done China.

  39. quirkyalone

    @GregInVancouver: Why do you think so? Epoch Times coverage on China is usually spot on. All the main stories they broke like SARS spreading in China or organ harvesting from live political prisoners turned out to be true.

  40. IVAN3MAN, thanks for posting that video. Almost cacked myself. Hilarious.

    I always wondered why the Epoch Times seems to handed out at railway stations by little old Chinese women. I have sympathy for any group persecuted by the Chinese government but Falun Gong’s claims seem to be a little on the extreme side. I don’t doubt the labour camps or the executions but some of their claims seem to be have degenerated into hyperbole.
    Their leader also believes that David Copperfield really walked through the Great Wall. Seriously, he wrote in the Falun Gong literature that David Copperfield really can do magic.

  41. Al

    Richie, the first spacewalk was by Alexei Leonov

  42. obamasucks

    I could not get over the “fake” look to this whole thing.

    First this whole exercise is simply to wave a flag. No science was done.

    Here is the best evidence that this was a fake: There is no sunlight! There is earthlight, a nice diffused light as one would expect, but where is the sharp light/shadow produced by the Sun?


  43. The article also mentions the video quality and the signal interruption at the end as proof of fake. But I suppose that if they DID use a high-quality video link, it would have a higher chance of interference.

  44. IVAN3MAN

    @ shane

    You’re welcome! That’s what I’m here for.

  45. Flag issue:
    Space is no gravity-free environment. Especially near the planets (in this case Earth). Astronauts have special boots to make them heavier and to have better grip. Now if strength vector given by astronauts hand to the flag stick is stronger than friction and gravity, flag should wave (not like one on Earth) but it should.

    If the Chinese government was going to fake up this whole thing. Wouldn’t it be more precaution and serious about it? Or they do not have physics, mathematics CGI specialists so they took bunch of children from high school to make it up? -C’mon :D.
    Wouldn’t it be much easier to use solid flatten panel with Chinese flag on it and avoid “wave or not wave” issue?

    Funny thing is that our “professional” opinions are based upon YouTube-alike videos and images of poor quality filled with compression caused artifacts.

  46. StevoR

    “Did the Chinese fake their space walk?”

    Wouldn’t surpriseme idf theydid. Notafter their Oly,mpic stunts anfdfaked fireworks, wromng girl singing /not singing etc .. 😉

    Would I trust the Chinese propagandists totell thetruth, whole &nuthin’ butt? No way.

    Or should that be Noh Wei? 😉

    Ah well if the ‘hoaxer beleivers are going to lie about the Moon landing not happening they may as well lie about the Chinese NOT spacewalking too! 😉

    They might as well be consisistently wrong.


    PS. How about the USA, the Russians and the Chinese all joining forces together to launch the first ever mission to Mars – or a near Earth asteroid?

    Friendly competition in space may be good and achieve much but firnedly co-operation may get us even further, sooner and better! 😉 😀

  47. StevoR - Correcting

    #@!@%$ typos! & %$#@!#$@! NOT being able to edit these posts .. * SIGH *


    “Did the Chinese fake their space walk?”

    Wouldn’t surprise me if they did. Not after all their Olympic stunts with the faked fireworks, wrong girl singing / not singing etc .. Would I trust the Chinese propagandists to tell the truth, whole & nuthin’ butt? No way.
    Or should that be Noh Wei? 😉

    Ah well, if the ‘hoax beleivers’ are going to lie about the Moon landing not happening then they may as well lie about the Chinese NOT spacewalking too!

    They might as well be consisistently wrong.


    PS. How about the USA, the Russians and the Chinese all joining forces together to launch the first ever mission to Mars – or a near Earth asteroid?

    Friendly competition in space may be good and achieve much but friendly co-operation may get us even further, sooner and better! 😀 8)

  48. Ian

    @ Drew:

    “Im not saying this was filmed u/w, but you can’t tell by movement alone that it wasn’t…”

    Actually you can tell very conclusively that it wasn’t filmed underwater by his movements. When/if you you wave your arm under water the movement of the your arm encounters more resistance than air, and obviously much more resistance outside of the atmosphere. This will cause your arm to move, at its joints: shoulder, elbow, wrist, in opposition to its self. i.e. when he waves to the camera his elbow would sway in conjunction with his his forearm and wrist because of the extra resistance imposed by the water. This is not the case in the video though. You can tell quite definitively by the physics of the motion of his arm what kind of environment he was in.

  49. Jim Oberg

    All the underwater training runs were done in Russian ‘Orlan’ suits, but the actual spacewalk in the one-and-only Chinese-made suit. Conveniently, one major obvious design change the Chinese made in their model is removing the ‘moon roof’ (the small oval overhead window) on the top of the helmet. You can see in ALL the genuine underwater training pictures, the suits have that moon roof, and on Zhai’s suit, there is no ‘moon roof’ — but the second astronaut WAS wearing a Russian-made ‘Orlan’, and when he briefly pokes his head outside, voila!, there’s a helmet WITH a moon roof.


  50. geezt

    Did anyone see this? A press conference and audio before the blast off? Is this possibly true? http://tech.msn.com/ssprint.aspx?cp-documentid=10815662&imageindex=2

  51. StevoR

    Earlier I noted :

    “PS. How about the USA, the Russians and the Chinese all joining forces together to launch the first ever mission to Mars – or a near Earth asteroid?”

    Of course the downside would be what happens then if World War Three breaks out between China, Russia and the USA while this misson is taking place -although hopefully having such a co-operative mission would decrease the chances of WWIII breakingout to begin with.

    ‘Apollo-Soyuz’ a model to follow perhaps?

  52. Dr B

    My main argument for why it is fake is this: why would stuff by flying out of the hatch hours after it was opened into zero gravity? Look closely and you can see bubbles detatching from the astronaut’s HELMET, slowly and then speeding up. There’s plenty of other clues. I made a video about it here:


  53. ric

    Well, I clearly see the studio lights, I don’t know how you missed them! Fake! Fake! Fake!

  54. Jim

    Maybe the video was faked because the high technology should not be easily
    opened.and the real video is now lying on a secret place in China

  55. Rob

    At the beginning of the article he says “tinfoil chenshans”.

    Just a minor correction, but “chenshan” means “button down shirt”.

    What he meant to say was “tinfoil maozis”.

    “Maozi” means “hat”.

    There ya go. Fixed.

    p.s. The walk wasn’t faked but it wouldn’t suprise anyone if China pulled a stunt like that.

  56. ambastrong

    Did anyone remember the glove that was blown off into the space from Gemini 4 in the 60s?

  57. chineeseboy

    china space walk is 100% fake.

  58. JJoz

    A good post at http://www.astroengine.com/?p=1531 about this…

    inbeijing Says:

    October 23rd, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    china went to space? yes.
    the footage is fake? yes.

    having lived in Beijing for 8 years and seen the chinese CGI opening ceremony fireworks, dub a little singers voice, paint the brown grass green for visiting officials, airbrush their passport photos, lie to their own people about SARS for months, block CNN and BBC web access in China…. etc etc
    I know how far china will go to prevent themselves from looking less than perfect.

    China has even blocked us here in beijing from being about to visit the youtube pages where the so called “conspiracy theories” are.

    Chinese exerts who worked for NASA are even saying this footage is fake check the interview by The Epoch Times with Dr. Qu Zheng.

    forget the bubbles, forget the reflections LOOK AT THE FLAG! He isnt even waving it and that thing is flapping around in the wave pool by itself.

    what about the verbal slip up? (i am assuming most of you dont speak mandarin, i do) the astronaut says “he has enteres the water”

    What about the cloud inconsistencies? one minute the ocean is covered in thick cloud cover, 2 seconds later its a clear day over the pacific?

    what about the lack of background noise and the clarity of the audio from “space”? the noise from manned space crafts is deafening, literally, astronauts wear earplugs and still come back to earth with lifelong hearing problems. Listen to audio from russian and american space walks then compare it to the hollow silent clear voices of the chinese astronauts.

    I am not saying china doesnt have the resources to go to space, all i am saying is that they pre-filmed this shiny happy perfect footage to make their country proud and distract the world from YET another food poisoning scandal, they werent ready to go to space but they needed to do something, so they did.

    dont underestimate china, they act first and think later, its the way things work here with everything from the daily running of a business to emergency space shuttle launches.

    My own opinion? After having seen a fair amount of NASA footage of the earth, IMHO the earth in this video looked fake. The lack of any depth of atmosphere, the brightness of the earth on the “unlit” side and the curvature of the earth makes it look more like a video projection onto a sphere (or a texturemapped CG sphere) than real earth footage.

    Also, I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but it seemd to me with the flag they were waving, even though it was stiff, it kept flopping down towards the bottom of the frame, away from the earth, where “gravity” shouldn’t be. This would happen if the shuttle was sitting on the ground, and the earth hanging up above it. Whether it was shot underwater or not is hard to say tho. All of the little artifacts floating around could easily be computer generated. Anyone seen star trek?

    I’d say there’s a slim chance it wasn’t faked. Propaganda is what the Chinese regime is best at. Oh, hang on, they renamed their “Ministry of Propaganda” to “Ministry of Information”, so I guess its just called “information” these days.

  59. Rchard

    I still can’t believe up to this date people are still talkign about the “wavering” of the flag

    Mythbuster already BUSTED it

    The momentum of waving the flag will keep the flag waving even in a vacuum space

    Still dont’ believe it?
    only way to find out is when they’re on moon

  60. Loose Ether

    Ok everybody,

    Look at this version of the video – Much closer footage of taikonauts ‘working’.

    Now, at approx 5:48 – 5:52 just after some speech, watch the right-hand taikonaut’s helmet (he held the flag and then passed it to the taikonaut in the module).

    Now everybody LOOK at and THINK about what you see coming OUT from his helmet.

    I will not tell you what it is because it is OBVIOUS.

    This is just one of the MANY such examples contained in the ‘space footage’.

    Now please argue that the mission was not faked and furthur entertain us intelligent people who can USE and TRUST our own judgement to arrive at the truth.

  61. Lawrence

    If you are judging the entire thing by how fast you can move underwater, I think its completely ridiculous.

    Because I bet Michael Phelps can move that fast underwater ;D

    but that’s only on the comment of the speed about movement underwater.
    I haven’t bothered to look at the other reasons yet.

  62. tim

    apparantly the bad astronomer is bad at analyzing video too. it’s VERY obvious and if there is anyone still talking about if it’s fake or not they are in denial. are you afraid the chinese will come after you and place you in prison? You only have to reference one thing in the tape that blows the chinese credibility: BUBBLES IN SPACE. Discussion ended.

  63. zoom999

    Well if it’s real, and they are making up conspiracy theories, I can’t see they don’t deserve it. The U.S. has had to endure 40 years of this crap. And on the web, 90% of the time you find out it’s Russians or Chinese agreeing the moon landing is fake. They never want to help or see the light. Now they know how it feels. That said, I can see how this can happen. So I won’t be too quick to conclude they didn’t do a space walk. But in a way, the whole thing is sort of funny …. in a sad way…

  64. zoom999

    top sentence should read, “can’t say they don’t”

  65. China = Pwned

    The youtube video proves they did fake it.

  66. Everything is fake

    Only the Chinese Government would know if they did a space walk. But I like all the discussions.

    The bubbles? The youtube video could be edited with bubbles. So if those are bubbles it can only be concluded that the video is fake. And mind you, it could be edited by The Epoch Times editor…..oops.

  67. DutchSpacer

    I think they didn’t fake their space walk.
    However I do wonder howcome the earth remains in the same position, but maybe the resolution of the movie was to small for me to see its rotation. A geo-stationary position would be at around 36 000 km above sea level and I am positively sure they didn’t go that far!

    those commenting on debri.. Like China doesn’t care about the pollution on earth, they don’t really care about pollution in space.

    google for china’s satellite destroying missiles (or something like that). They tested their missile, destroyed a satellite and subsequently produced an amount of space debri comparable to the total amount of debri that we’ve put there in the last 30 years.

    If we continue polluting the space around the earth, space traveling will become to dangerous eventually. (think about millions of small particles flying very very fast, would you want to send your space shuttle through a cloud of them? )

  68. lol

    Pause the video @1:25-1:27. You’ll notice a white debris flying out. No way it could have happened underwater. IT Doesn’t EVEN LOOK LIKE BUBBLES. lol IDIOT.
    Pause it at 1:27. you’ll see a white sheet of something.


    Also notice the metal hooks floating while it was being hooked in. If it was underwater, it would have fallen straight down idiots. Not float around.

    Check this snapshop that all happens within the 1:27.01 – 1:27.59 mark


    Learn how to pause the clips. Maybe you won’t look like a idiot next time~

  69. lol

    Remember its a vacuum out in space. So when they opened the hatch, the air rushed out.

    And trust me, if it was under water, there would be TONS OF AIR BUBBLES seeping out. If not, their entire space suit would EXPLODE..

    Take a good look at those snapshots.. BUBBLES… lol

  70. biada

    I’m pretty sure the Governments around the world were able to track the Chinese space walk. If China didn’t actually do it, there would be news about it all over the world. I mean, the US of A is looking for any excuse to laugh at China. Milk scandal, lead toys, CGI fireworks, lip singing, etc etc…

    I mean, who’s the idiot that said they were bubbles? You think if they were underwater, only 1 or 2 bubbles would show up in the vid every minute or so? I mean, just watch any underwater divers, you can see hundreds of bubbles seeping out.

  71. yourmothersanastronaut

    I like how very few people have actually been in space but everyone seems to be an expert on it. I really, really, really doubt this was faked, what do they have to gain if faked and what did they have to lose if they didn’t do a space walk? Really what bothers me is that we (USA) had visited the moon 1969-72 and have yet to go back. Technology now is far more advanced and should be able to make trips to the moon much easier and less costly. And I’m not saying we didn’t land on the moon, I just think it is interesting that no one has been back for exploration for about 40 years after the Space Race.

  72. Solaris7

    First off, I’m not sure what to make of the arguments and counter arguments:

    @ lol, debris going out can be generated by CGI to make the spacewalk look real. Further, it could be they missed that bubble looking object, i.e. they should have taken it out by CGI. Even it is wasn’t a bubble, why is it flying away so fast? The damn hatch was already long opened.

    And what about that mother-of-all freudian slips about entering “water”?

    @Rchard, first, I don’t believe the US landing on the moon was faked, but if NASA did fake it, then NASA could have easily rigged the vacuum chamber, i.e. turn off the vacuum function and installed air blowers to fool the must less sophisticated Mythbusters. Again, I don’t believe NASA faked it, but if they did then it’s a no0brainer they’d do it again to keep the story straight.

    Although there are certain moments where it seems the motion of the flag flopping around doesn’t appear to be underwater at all, i.e. seeming very minor motions was making the flag almost wrap around the stick. Underwater, it would take major movement to get the flag to wrap around the flag stick. Of course I don’t know what material it is made of.

    @ Ivan3Man: Funny stuff. Thanx.


    Bigfoot posted: “I don’t doubt the authenticity of the spacewalk, but there WAS an interesting tidbit on Yahoo news before the space launch — the Chinese had posted a news story of their successful launch BEFORE they launched, complete with astronaut dialogue that had reportedly taken place during and after the launch, etc.”

    Anyone else know anything about this?

  73. Solaris7

    “Another claim is that you can see banks of lights reflected off the taikonauts wrist reflectors. I watched carefully, and all I see reflected in the mirrors are the black of space, with occasional reflections of the Earth above. I think it’s the latter that’s claimed to be the lights.”

    When it comes to the wrist reflectors and the supposed studio lights, I agree with ric: “Well, I clearly see the studio lights, I don’t know how you missed them! Fake! Fake! Fake!”

    —Look at 1:20 to 1:45 into the vid.

    WTF was that? Unless this particular YouTube vid itself was doctored, those are clearly studio lights!!!!

    HOLY SH*T!

  74. Melinda

    Okay, well.
    They do have those antigravity chambers too?
    so, the only option of underwater(which would be entirely wrong because in cases like when he was opening the door, there would be alot of bubbles.) is not the only option.
    the could have easily taken this in one of them, and just painted the walls black and edited the earth in.
    Also, Has anyone taken the lighting into consideration?
    It seems to be perfectly lit up when he is outside of the spacecraft.
    And If you pause the video around 5:46- 5:58 and look at the spacecraft carefully, then pause it again after 5:59 when they show him getting out of the spacecraft in a wide angle, they are different ships.
    and no its not because of the camera angle or because its a different side that you couldnt see before. Its a different ship. unless things can magically appear out of no where in space.
    Also, with how fast the earth is spinning in this video, at least a couple hours would have elapsed in the 8 minute period of this video.
    I dont see how this could be real, in any case.

  75. Definitely a fake space walk. I watched the entire 19 minutes frame by frame with my CS3 film editor and found lots of bubbles and lots of digitally edited sections where bubbles were removed. The big giveaway is the buoyancy of the tether lines and the way the flag moves. Besides that it’s easy to fake something like this in a NBL, just remove the extra blue tinge, and presto!

    Did you also see this newer video?


  76. We should at least be skeptical

    One thing that seems evident is this: the author has little experience with modern Chinese nationals. It has nothing to do with racism or bias. It’s simply a fact of life that positive image is top priority with the Chinese. I have never met anyone who has worked with Chinese nationals for a significant amount of time and has not come to this conclusion (I am one and I have known many others). However, Chinese propensity to create an artificially great image of themselves only lends support to the possibility that the footage was fake, it does not prove it. Two pieces of evidence strongly support the possibility that it was faked: (1) The changing of the clouds, and (2) The piece of debris that originates from the visor.

    (1) As other commenters have observed the earth’s clouds change completely in a span of two seconds. What natural phenomenon accounts for this? Until you answer that question, you ought to be at least skeptical.

    (2) Although some of the “debris” may be legitimate why does one “piece” come from underneath the visor’s seal and if floats up along the surface of the visor? Does debris normally come off of the astronaut’s spacesuits on spacewalks? Maybe I’m wrong on this one. I’m not an expert on spacewalks, but this seems strange.

    Other pieces of evidence are (3) Mandarin speakers have noted that the speaker mistakenly says that they have entered the “water”, (4) the difference in Chinese audio quality vs. US and Russian audio quality on spacewalks, (5) the audio transcript of the astronaut’s dialogue was accidentally released to news agencies before the launch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shenzhou_7#False_news_report), et al.

    All of this evidence plus modern Chinese inclination to generate an artificially great self-image causes me to be at least skeptical. The author should investigate further and see if he at least changes his “no” to a “maybe”.

    Before I am written off as a conspiracy nut, tell me: What are your strong and convincing explanations for the five pieces of evidence that I’ve listed?

  77. James

    It’s inspiring and yet sad to see this much debate on this topic.
    No, I do not have a “definitive” answer to this claim. But I do know that it’s impossible for anyone else to.
    It’s 2009. The speed of light is no longer the universal speed limit and microbiology from Mars is old news. No one in an authoritative position is disputing this information now.
    But more to the point, with today’s technological and diplomatic standards, you can’t prove or disprove this. The End.
    Personally, I hold the opinion that their spacewalk is faked. The China-provided “proof” — meaning what they claim to pass any test of scrutiny — combined with their preceding reputation of self-aggrandizing, points beyond almost any doubt that they faked it.
    Their pre-launch release of supposed correspondence is really all the proof that’s needed.
    But the fact is, once again, we’ve reached a point where anyone could claim what they’ve claimed. The only conclusive way to disprove a digitally-created claim of anything is diplomacy.
    We owe China. We owe them big. Look it up. So I imagine NASA knows very well that China faked this, but has no intention of instigating malcontent with a country that arguably controls our currency’s value. (We owe them trillions. They’ve technically paid for the war on terror.)
    Adobe Creative Suite 3 is on my laptop, and with that suite and a decent video recorder, I could quite possible re-create every last visual detail everyone here has discussed.
    Given that China released much of the controversial footage, I again say that their reputation likely caused a hastiness, one that’s caused their wholly-illegitimate claims to be swept under an economic rug.
    No, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. This post is one of probably less than five I’ve ever composed.
    But let’s fess up to the fact that diplomatic prudence trumps veracity.
    It’s in no government’s best interest to formally cry at present, especially not with China. We have our own spacial intentions anyway; we can kill them with kindness — or simply continued one-upping.
    But regardless, this will never be concluded definitively. The global system is too convoluted for any of us to think we have the total grasp.
    These days, we’re flirting with technological infinity.
    China may very well have faked it — which more than enough evidence shows that they did — but when you think about everything else we raise an eyebrow to in the government’s direction, and more importantly why it’s in officials’ best interest to leave it be, there’s just no way the truth will ever be ascertained.
    Take it easy, but take it.

  78. Mahhn

    Governments don’t like to people, ever. (sarcasm intended)

  79. anyKey

    I suppose you didn’t watch the whole video though… This “bubble” you mention, may not be a bubble itself, but after the astronaut leaves the cockpit, there are loads of bubbles. You cannot explain them in another way than bubbles, because they are moving straight up and going right next to the astronaut.

    You are Chinese? If yes, then I understand you. You live in a totalitarism, just like me 20 years ago and you have to claim what government claims, otherwise you’ll go to jail. Smiling from ear to ear ever if there are thousands of people starving… Anyway, your “essay” is fake just like Chinese space walk.

  80. Definitely Fake

    Like most educated consumers, I know that China can fake just about anything. They even faked part of the Bejing Olympics shots with animation. They have a history of faking things, so I say it was faked based on past precedence.

  81. ZERO

    If they were air bubbles, not only would they be rising too fast but they would only rise in one direction not multiple like you see in the video! And, as you mentioned the movement of the cosmonauts hand and the hooks look like they’re moving in microgravity!

  82. Jeffoid

    The bubbles are being pushed away from current from the water fans and also the video is cranked up to conter the underwater effects. I watched all the videos that disproves that china did the space walk and they make alot of sense. Those who disbelieve this can’t believe the facts because they are chinese nationalists and have too much pride and believe the things that would make them more popular… like how a girl puts make-up and stuffs their bra to make them look more pretty.

    They can never be a part of NASA… they are guilty of stealing engine plans for the Shuttles… so all they have to be proud of is an underwater aquarium wet ride for all of the world to see. I stand with all those who know that china had faked their launch and space walk. They can only fathom to what United States, Russa, Britan, and the other contries had worked on jointly in the NASA project.

  83. just me

    maybe the space walk did happen but the video is fake, for sure, if you know chinese you can hear one commander reported “under water pulling, everything’s fine”

  84. I speak Chinese

    After listening to the conversations in the spacewalk video, I have confirmed that the commander didn’t say that.

    By the way, my native language is Chinese.

  85. Dane

    As with most conspiracy theories, when deciding whether they are true people don’t look at the full picture. Like that Epoch Times articles, it presents a barrage of different arguments alleging it is fake. When someone finds even one of those arguments wrong, he’ll debunk the whole article. However, the truth is, if even one of the arguments in the article is right, that means the spacewalk is faked. There are points in the video where you can clearly see a large air bubble come out of the guys face-mask. The Earth’s clouds also rapidly change formations in the background which is impossible. Furthermore, the Chinese regime lies through its teeth about everything, even when they don’t need to.

  86. Well if it’s real, and they are making up conspiracy theories, I can’t see they don’t deserve it. The U.S. has had to endure 40 years of this crap. And on the web, 90% of the time you find out it’s Russians or Chinese agreeing the moon landing is fake. They never want to help or see the light. Now they know how it feels.

  87. Chinese Translator

    I have translated a Non Standard Dialect of Chinese where a radio operator states that the naught has “entered the water”. Unless Near Earth Orbit is filled with water i doubt he is in space

  88. yisi


    China Moon photo flawed but not fake
    The first publicly released photo from China’s Chang’e 1 Moon probe is genuine, though flawed, because it has been modified to make it more pleasing to the eye, according to an analysis by a Planetary Society blogger.

    Rumours have been circulating online that a photo released by the Chinese government and attributed to the country’s first Moon probe is actually a copy of an image from the US defense department’s Clementine probe of the mid-1990s.

    China has insisted the image it released really is from Chang’e 1. This is confirmed by a new analysis by Planetary Society blogger Emily Lakdawalla (which I came upon via an entry in Alan Boyle’s Cosmic Log).

    Clementine did image the part of the Moon that appears in the Chang’e 1 image. But the two images have differences that show the Chang’e 1 image is not merely a copy. As Lakdawalla points out, sunlight illuminates the scene from different angles in the two images, and the Chang’e 1 image reveals more detail (see images above – the top one is Clementine, the bottom Chang’e 1).

    “My personal opinion, based upon the evidence I was able to dig up, is that the Chinese do have an orbiter at the Moon, and that it is producing really beautiful images that are a great improvement over Clementine,” Lakdawalla writes.

    But she also notes that the image released to the public is actually a composite made by stitching together 19 images, each of which shows a small part of the scene. The edges where the images were joined together have been smoothed to make them less apparent, Lakdawalla says.

    The stitching together process also provides an explanation for an “extra” crater seen in the Chang’e 1 image (top right) that does not appear in the Clementine view of the same area (top left). The Chang’e 1 chief scientist has suggested that either Clementine’s camera was not sensitive enough to see the crater or that it was gouged out by an impact after Clementine made its observations.

    But Lakdawalla says flaws in the stitching-together process simply created an illusory duplicate of a real crater in the image. When she re-aligned the border between the images in the composite (bottom right), it became a close match to the Clementine image (bottom left), without the extra crater.

    “However, because of the blending of the seams, this is not a product that should be used for scientific research – including looking for new craters,” she adds. “Some of this problem should go away once the Chang’e team improves their knowledge of their spacecraft’s orbit and of the shape of the Moon; with more precise positional information, their mosaics will automatically improve, having less obvious seams with smaller offsets.”

    David Shiga, online reporter (Top image: NASA/DOD, CAST; Bottom image, top row: NASA/DOD, CAST; bottom row: NASA/DOD, CAST/Emily Lakdawalla)

  89. Barney

    Yeah, square bubbles, we all know that’s possible.


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