Oct 17 2005

Xinhua Pictures Real?

Published by at 8:49 am under All General Discussions

Drudge is asking if the Xinhua/Chinese pictures of their capsule are real. One most definitely is not in my opinion – the one showing the descent on rockets (see left picture below):

The first thing you notice is no re-entry scarring or scoring of the surface from the re-entry rockets, which can be seen in detail on the surface in this next shot:

The other thing to notice is the spacing of the access hatches (assuming that is what those circulor doors are) relative to the top ring (main exit hatch) in the next picture. You can barely make out half of the largest circular side hatch in the picture below on the right hand side.

If you notice, the circular hatch in this last picture is higher up on the structure, closer to the top escape hatch and more on the ‘curve’ of the bell shape than in the descent photo. Also note in the last two pictures a structural ring along the bottom clearly visible, but missing from the descent photo.

Looks like a reasonably modern computer animation for the descent picture.

Relative to the other shots I am not ready to make a call – they do look suspicious. They are tight in with no background, awfully flat ground and no vegitation. There seems to be no impact bump in the ground where the ‘capsule’ is sitting – even though something that large would probably make some dent when it landed. Would need larger photos from more of a distance to be sure.


Snookers Swamp has a picture from farther back. As Bill points out the capsule appears to be on a concrete slab. I guess they could have ferried it there by helicopter – but why? Still looks staged.

For comparison here are shots of the 2001 test landing for comparison.

That is one small capsule. I am surprised it can fit three people.. Fits two people of course.

Final Update:

Yeah it was somewhat staged, as the communists sometimes like to do. Here is a story with the capsule in a more believable orientation:

For the record, the re-entry capsule uses a parachute, and I would guess some breaking thrusters from what is obviously an ‘artist’s rendition’ of descent in the first picture above. More here.

One response so far

One Response to “Xinhua Pictures Real?”

  1. lawhawk says:

    The craft firing its boosters definitely appears to be a computer graphic and not a realtime image of the craft coming down to earth. As for the veracity of the other images, there’s insufficient evidence to say that they’re not real.