China will send three astronauts into space in 2008 on board Shenzhou VII, but only one of them will perform spacewalk, the Beijing Times reported on Monday.
Chinese scientists are working on the space suits for the astronaut, which is the key part for spacewalk, the newspaper quoted official sources as saying.
"The design of the space suits has been completed, but they still need to be tested," Qi Faren, chief designer of China's first five Shenzhou spaceships, and chief consultant for Shenzhou VI and VII, was quoted as saying.
Qi is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which convenes its annual session here along with one of the China's top legislature, the National People's Congress,
China has announced that it will launch manned space shuttle Shenzhou VII in 2008. Shenzhou VIII, Shenzhou IX and Shenzhou X are all being planned and the intervals between each launch will become shorter.
The newspaper said the astronaut will just walk in outer space in 2008 and no experiments or maintenance activities will be conducted outside the capsule.
Although Shenzhou VII is scheduled to be launched in 2008, when Beijing hosts the Olympic Games, Qi said the launching of the spaceship has nothing to do with the Olympics.
"This is a scientific project. Its ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of astronauts and the success of experiments," Qi said. He also said that the best season to launch the spacecraft is in spring or autumn.
In response to questions on women astronauts, Qi said China has no plans yet to put women astronauts into space though a group of women airplane pilots have been chosen as would-be candidates for astronauts.
China's first manned space flight took place in 2003, making it the third nation to conduct independent manned space flight.
Last year, the second manned spaceship, Shenzhou VI, was launched and completed a five-day flight with two astronauts carrying out space-based experiments.