China space mission article hits Web before launch
This is really odd. Unless this is a mistake, but if not, it really makes you wonder about propaganda and the role of the media and the government in China.
The country's official news agency Xinhua posted an article on Thursday about the successful launch of China's space mission prior to the rocket having even left the ground.
An article dated on Sept.27 describes the rocket in flight and the dialogue between the astronauts. It can be read below.
A news story describing a successful launch of China's long-awaited space mission and including detailed dialogue between astronauts launched on the Internet Thursday, hours before the rocket had even left the ground.
The country's official news agency Xinhua posted the article on its Web site Thursday, and remained there for much of the day before it was taken down.
A staffer from the Xinhuanet.com Web site who answered the phone Thursday said the posting of the article was a "technical error" by a technician. The staffer refused to give his name as is common among Chinese officials.
The Shenzhou 7 mission, which will feature China's first-ever spacewalk, ended up launching Thursday from Jiuquan in northwestern China late in the evening.
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."
This really makes me wonder. I know when the whole SARS situation was occurring, the media in China downplayed the epidemic and the people there were kept in the dark of the situation.
Talking about the role of the media and the government. It began with the suppression of the printing press to the usage of media to promote ideologies. Now the conflict between free press in a democractic society against the supression of the media. We shouldn't all be too surprised by this as certain websites are being banned there.