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Shenzhou 6 Safely Returns Taikonauts

Shenzhou 6 Safely Returns Taikonauts

Beijing (AFP) Oct 17, 2005
China's second manned space mission returned safely to Earth early Monday after a successful five-day flight, in the latest chapter in China's ambitious drive to become a global space power.
Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were given a clean bill of health after the reentry capsule of their Shenzhou VI spacecraft glided to Earth on a parachute, ending up in Inner Mongolia, Xinhua news agency said.

"Our journey in space was very smooth, the living and working conditions inside the cabin were very good, our health is okay, thanks," Fei said on state television, with a radiant smile.

Emerging from the module, television pictures showed the two take a few seconds to adjust to the Earth's gravity, before being presented with bouquets of flowers and waving to assembled recovery teams and ground control staff.

Mission control declared the 115-hour space flight a success, Xinhua reported.

China's top legislator Wu Bangguo, who watched the return of Shenzhou VI from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center, called the completed mission a "milestone," according to the People's Daily website.

"It is of great significance in elevating China's prestige in the world and promoting China's economic, scientific and national defense capabilities, and its national cohesiveness," Wu was quoted as saying.

A member of one of the recovery teams reported that the capsule landed upright after touching down at 4:32 am (2032 GMT Sunday), just one kilometer (1,100 yards) from the intended landing site, it added.

Fei and Nie were taken by helicopter from their remote landing site and given chocolate and herbal tea.

"I can feel that lots of people are thinking about us, we're very grateful for all the love and concern from our motherland and its people," Nie said on television.

In Nie's home town, in Zaoyang county of northern Hebei province, hundreds of proud residents hit the streets from before sunrise to mark the return of Shenzhou VI.

State television showed footage of the town celebrating its most famous native with firecrackers and dragon dances.

The flight was China's second-ever manned space mission following the historic Shenzhou V, which in October 2003 made China the third nation after the former Soviet Union and the United States to put a man into space.

Shenzhou VI had been carrying enough food, water and oxygen for a seven-day mission, although planners had expected it to spend just five days in orbit.

The spacecraft blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Inner Mongolia's border with Gansu province on Wednesday.

During his 21-hour maiden flight in 2003, lone astronaut Yang Liwei never left his seat in the re-entry capsule nor take off his space suit.

In contrast, Fei and Nie's flight saw them leave the re-entry capsule and enter the orbital capsule, shedding their bulky suits and donning ordinary work clothes so they could move around easily.

During their time in space, the astronauts successfully fired rockets to adjust the craft's altitude, ensuring it remained in its pre-planned orbit -- which was crucial for its return to Earth, a mission control spokesman said.

Premier Wen Jiabao hailed the historic second mission as a success after watching from the launch pad on Wednesday. The launch captivated the nation, with millions of Chinese watching it on television.

Dispelling concerns that China could use space for military purposes, Wen said the purpose of the mission was to conduct experiments "entirely for peaceful purposes."

The Chinese government also hopes to use the manned space program to invigorate patriotism and instill a curiosity in science and technology amongst China's largely agrarian population.

Spending on the Shenzhou series of launches has reached roughly 19 billion yuan (2.3 billion US dollars), less than 10 percent of the US annual spending on space programs, Xinhua quoted a space science researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences saying last week.
I heard this yesterday
and it was grate Wink
maybe oneday I can fly in the space
I haved heard it for days.
I want to fly in the space.
Maybe one day i dream will true.

The china's space technology is stronger and stronger. i hope it will become more better . and the wealth become more.
I feel happy while heard this news,but at the same time,i feel sorrow,because government can pledge spaceship's safety,but can not ensure coal's digger's life safety.
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