Mon, September 29, 2008
Sci-Tech > Science

Premier Wen hails success of taikonauts' return

2008-09-29 07:57:54 GMT2008-09-29 15:57:54 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao applauds after reading out the congratulation speech on China's first-ever spacewalk mission at Beijing Space Command and Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, on Sept. 28, 2008. Premier Wen Jiabao watched the return of China's Shenzhou-7 spacecraft in a live transmission in the center. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) shakes hands with an engineer at Beijing Space Command and Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, on Sept. 28, 2008. Premier Wen Jiabao watched the return of China's Shenzhou-7 spacecraft in a live transmission in the center. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao celebrated the successful return of Chinese taikonauts who had completed the country's third manned space mission on Sunday.

Together with other senior officials and officers at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), Wen watched the re-entry of Shenzhou-7 space module to Earth in a live transmission.

After the module landed in China's northern grassland and the three taikonauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng moved out of the spaceship by themselves, Wen congratulated the victory with the technical staff members and operators in the center.

Delivering a congratulatory note from the central authorities, Wen said the mission was "a victory of the Chinese space and technological field and a monumental achievement in the socialist causes".

The taikonauts were lifted into space at 9:10 p.m. Thursday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, where the country's first twomanned space missions took off in 2003 and 2005.

The three taikonauts came back from a 68-hour flight, included a historic 20-minute spacewalk of Zhai Zhigang on Saturday.

Their spacecraft circled Earth 46 laps before descending at the Siziwang Banner in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 5:37 p.m. Sunday.

The taikonauts were taken to a hospital in the Inner Mongolian capital Hohhot for medical examination and would be flown to Beijing on Monday for a two-week quarantine.

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