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Space dream on course after launch

中国日报网 2013-06-13 10:35

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China is pursuing its space dream unswervingly, President Xi Jinping said following the successful launch of the Shenzhou X spacecraft on Tuesday.

The Long March 2F carrier rocket with three astronauts -commander Nie Haisheng, astronaut Zhang Xiaoguang and the second Chinese woman in space Wang Yaping - blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province at 5:38 pm on Tuesday.

Xi met with representatives from organizations taking part in the mission at the center in the remote Gobi desert on Tuesday evening, and extended his congratulations and greetings.

"The Shenzhou X spacecraft has been successfully launched and precisely put into orbit, which means that our country's fifth manned space mission has succeeded in the first phase," he said.

"At this very moment, I am sharing the same feeling with everyone," he said. "I am very happy and excited."

Xi said China is pursuing its space dream continuously by developing the space industry and turning the country into a space power.

The Shenzhou X mission is of great significance for the country's efforts to consolidate and improve the rendezvous and docking technology and promote the development of a space lab and space station, he said.

Xi spoke highly of those involved in the manned space program, praising them for their hard work, and urged them to exert persistent efforts and carry out all subsequent work carefully.

On Wednesday, the three astronauts celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival in orbit, eating traditional sticky rice dumplings known as zongzi that were prepared specially for them. It was the first time Chinese astronauts had eaten zongzi in space, according to a source with the manned space program.

The source said the leaf-wrapped dumplings taken into space are small and flat, different from those people usually eat, because it makes it easier for the astronauts to store and heat them.

In a video clip shown on national TV on Wednesday, Wang played with a zongzi leaf in the microgravity environment aboard the spacecraft.

The astronauts also sent greetings from space at 1 pm on Wednesday, wishing a happy Dragon Boat Festival to Chinese around the world. Zhang said they were all feeling well after spending nearly a day in space.

In coming days, the Shenzhou X crew will conduct two space dockings with the unmanned Tiangong-1 space module, one automatic and one manual.

As they orbit the Earth, the crew will educate young people about science.

Wang, the main lecturer, will teach them about motion in a microgravity environment and about the surface tension of liquids. She will also help students understand the concepts of weight and mass and Newton's Laws, giving demonstrations and interacting with students and teachers on Earth.

Questions:

1. What is the name of the female astronaut on board the spacecraft?

2. What is the name of the rocket the astronauts are travelling on?

3. What did the 3 astronauts eat for Dragon Boat Festival?

Answers:

1. Wang Yaping.

2. The Long March 2F carrier.

3. Zongzi.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

 

About the broadcaster:

Lance Crayon is a videographer and editor with China Daily. Since living in Beijing he has worked for China Radio International (CRI) and Global Times. Before moving to China he worked in the film industry in Los Angeles as a talent agent and producer. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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