Chinese astronaut heard noise like ‘someone knocking the body of the spaceship’ while in orbit

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Chinese astronaut heard noise like ‘someone knocking the body of the spaceship’ while in orbit

Xinhua

An orbiting Chinese astronaut is still haunted by a chilling noise he heard in space – which sounded like ‘someone’ hitting his capsule.

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The noise – ‘like a hammer hitting an iron bucket’ – terrified China’s first astronaut on board the Shenzhen 5 spaceship in 2003, he said in an interview this week.

Astronaut Yang Liwei said, ‘A situation I have met in space is a knock that appeared from time to time.

‘It neither came from outside nor inside the spaceship, but sounded like someone is knocking the body of the spaceship just as knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer’.

Liwei explored the ship looking for the source of the noise – but found nothing.

First Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei waves to people before boarding China

First Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei (AP Photo/Xinhua, Lin Hui)

Once he was safely back on Earth, Chinese space agency technicians tried to replicate the noise – but couldn’t.

The Long March 2F rocket with Shenzhou V capsule carrying 38 year old Yang Liwei, the first Chinese to go into space, takes off from a desert launch pad in the Inner Mongolian autonomous region in western China 250km from the Jiuquan space centre Wednesday15 October 2003. EPA/XINHUA

EPA/XINHUA

Other Chinese astronauts have also reported hearing strange noises aboard spacecraft.

Yang said, ‘Before entering space I have told them that the sound is a normal phenomenon, so there is no need to worry.’