Mainland television may carry a live broadcast of the nation's first space walk from the Shenzhou VII spacecraft this year. Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology president Yuan Jie revealed China had the technology to broadcast the space walk live. He made the comment yesterday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Shanghai People's Congress. 'It is possible the Shenzhou VII can transmit a live broadcast of the walk, but it has not been decided if the space walk will be a live or recorded version,' he told Xinhua. The academy's technologies have contributed to the success of previous Shenzhou missions, and it will be responsible for the transmission of pictures and audio signals from Shenzhou VII. It is also conducting research on spacecraft propulsion, power, monitoring, control and communication systems. It was reported this month that 14 astronauts were training for the Shenzhou VII mission. Only three will be on board the third manned spaceship when it is launched. Crew members are expected to perform such work as installing equipment and tightening screws on the spacecraft during the space walk. China became the third nation to place a man in space - after the former Soviet Union and the US - when Yang Liwei piloted the Shenzhou V on a mission in October 2003, spending 21 hours in orbit. Two years later, Shenzhou VI carried two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng , into space on a five-day mission. State television ran live coverage of the launches of the previous space missions, and the three astronauts are regarded as national heroes. It also carried a live broadcast of a conversation between President Hu Jintao and the two astronauts in Shenzhou VI.