Shenzhou 5: Chinese In Space!

In 2003, the Chinese launched their first man into space, Yang Liwei (hence the new slogan for the Chinese space program, “It’s Liwei or the highway!”).

Yang Liwei was in space for a whopping 21 hours. While impressive, he could have like, driven from LA to Portland in 21 hours, assuming he went at least 75 or 80 most of the way. And when he was done, he would have been in Portland! How cool is that? He could have gone to Powell’s Books, and Reading Frenzy, and Jackpot Records, no to mention that store where they put a bird on it.

But instead, Liwei splashed down in the middle of the ocean somewhere. And really, what is there to do in the middle of the ocean all by yourself when you’re sealed up in approximately four cubic feet of space? No, not that–not enough room to wriggle out of his spacesuit, and no easy-access flap. Get your mind out of the gutter.

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