Mon, October 06, 2008
Sci-Tech > Science

"How did you feel like in space?", President Hu asks spacewalker

2008-09-27 12:14:56 GMT2008-09-27 20:14:56 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Chinese President Hu Jintao talks on a phone that connected him at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) with astronauts on the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 27, 2008. (Xinhua Photo/Li Xueren)

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao asked Chinese taikonauts what it was like walking in space in a conversation with them after the trio successfully realized the country's first-ever space walk on Saturday.

"How did you feel like in space after exiting the module?" asked smiling Hu, who was talking on a phone that connected him at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) with astronauts on the spacecraft Shenzhou-7.

"I felt superb," answered Zhai Zhigang, who carried out about 25 minutes of extra-vehicular activity (EVA) about 343 km above the earth after floating out of the Shenzhou-7 cabin on Saturday afternoon.

"The process of taking on the Feitian spacesuit went smooth," said Zhai, looking confident and radiant on the screen at the BACC. "In the vast space, I felt proud of our motherland."

Hu congratulated the astronauts on the successful feat and encouraged them to carry on efforts to fulfill the mission.

"The thing I most want to know is how are you feeling now and how is your work going," Hu asked the trio.

"We feel well," said Zhai. "We conducted the space scientific tests as planned and the EVA went smoothly."

Hu hailed the spacewalk as a sign of the country's progress in space scientific technology.

"You have made outstanding contribution to our country's space project," said Hu. "The country and the Chinese people are grateful to you."

At 4:43 p.m. (0843 GMT) on Saturday, Zhai slipped out of the orbital module of Shenzhou-7 in a head-out-first position, wearing a 4-million-U.S.dollar homemade Feitian space suit.

China's first-ever spacewalk marked a remarkable progress in the country's ambitious space program, which will eventually lead to the establishment of a permanent space station.

by Xinhua writer Wang Xiuqiong

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