China held a meeting Friday morning to award people who made outstanding contributions to the Shenzhou VII manned space flight.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top leaders Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and He Guoqiang attended the meeting.
Vice-Premier Li Keqiang announced a decision jointly made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, which decides to award Zhai Zhigang with the title of "Space Flight Hero" and Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng with the title of "Heroic Astronaut".
Chinese President Hu Jintao presented the three with medals and certificates to mark their outstand performance during the spacewalk mission.
Chang Wanquan, chief commander of the manned space project said that the success of Shenzhou VII's space flight showed the great strength of national cohesion and boosted the confidence of people working for space missions to make new achievements. Chang said that more than 110 research institutes were involved in the mission, and more than 3,000 organizations nationwide were offering co-ordination and helps.
Zhai Zhigang, speaking on behalf of the Shenzhou VII space flight team, said completing the mission successfully was their lifelong dream and biggest honor.
He said the space walk he conducted was a small step of himself but a big step for the Chinese nation.
Shang Zhi, general director of the mission's spacecraft system, said that Chinese scientists and researchers are ready to begin the next phase of space mission, which focusing on the spacecraft's rendezvous and docking in orbit and the manufacture of space laboratory.