Edition 3: The Spacesuit With No Spaceman… by Sergio Palumbo
An astronaut from the People’s Advanced Republic of China goes missing while in orbit and it is Xing Yi, a secret government agent, who must travel in the same footsteps. Will he be liberated by unknown sympathetic forces or is there a darker fate awaiting him on the edge of space? SY
The investigation Xing Yi had been assigned this time by the exacting Chinese Space Program staff wouldn’t be an easy one, to be sure.
Jian Juhi, was a young taikonaut—that is, he was an astronaut from China, the word ‘taikonaut’ coming from a mixture of the terms “taikong”, meaning space, and the Greek “naut”, meaning sailor. He had disappeared while aboard his spacecraft which was in Earth’s orbit, with the main hatch surprisingly still locked from the inside.
The People’s Advanced Republic of China could tolerate the deaths of plenty of expendable taikonauts when they were caused by accidents that occurred over the course of its new, exhausting space program, which had as its goal to quickly build a Chinese base on the Moon. But its tyrants could not accept the unexpected disappearance of one of them while still on board the precious Shenzhou 15 orbiting craft, leaving only an empty spacesuit inside the cockpit, no matter the reasons or the problems involved.
The appointed technicians at the Control Station back home immediately began pouring over the recordings and all the instruments about what had really happened up there in space, while the spacecraft was still orbiting our planet. Some politicians even suggested that such an event could have only occurred with help from some international organizations or a few countries which had helped the missing taikonaut defect from the government’s grip over its citizens—even though, regretfully, they couldn’t explain by what means exactly.