Finally back at home after hurricane Ike! Fortunately for us, damage was minimal. Trying to get caught up and get things back on track.
I'm getting ready to do a bunch of TV interviews for the Shenzhou 7 launch and the first spacewalk by a Chinese national! This will be very interesting and quite a step for the Chinese program.
Also interesting, is that NASA has reopened talks with the Chinese about space. They swear that it has nothing to do with Russia's invasion of Georgia, but please, it is insulting to think that we believe that. Will this work? Probably not. I don't think this administration is serious about space cooperation with China and that this is a feeble attempt to strike fear into the Russians. The Russians know better. Even if NASA were to cooperate with China in the ISS program, there would have to be Russian buy-in. Besides, the Shenzhou could only dock with the Russian segment, so Russian buy-in would be a hard requirement.
The first Chinese EVA is supposed to feature an all-Chinese spacesuit. The second suit is said to be a Russian Orlan, like the one I wore on my two ISS EVA's. This is significant. It means that the Chinese suit is totally compatible, support system wise, with the Russian Orlan. It is reasonable to assume that the suits are very similar. Kind of like the way the Chinese pressure suit looks like the Russian Sokol.
Nothing wrong with making an advanced version of a tried and true system. This only makes sense, especially for a program that is leap-frogging it's way to catch up with the US and Russia.