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Shenzhou-10 crew honored with medals

07-26-2013 18:12 BJT Special Report:China Dream of Space Exploration |

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Three astronauts who completed China's longest manned space mission in June have been awarded with medals for their outstanding service to the country's space programs.

Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou-10 mission crew and a second-time space traveler, was honored with a second-class aerospace achievement medal; Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, the only female astronaut of the mission, were both conferred third-class medals and the honorary title of "heroic astronaut."

The decision was made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, said an official statement released on Friday.

The three astronauts were sent into space aboard Shenzhou-10 on June 11 and returned to Earth on June 26.

In its 15-day journey in space, Shenzhou-10 docked with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1 twice, once through automatic operation and the other manually.

The astronauts spent 12 days in Tiangong-1, where they conducted space-specific medical experiments, technical tests and delivered a lecture to students on Earth about basic physics principles.

"The complete success of the Shenzhou-10 manned space mission has consolidated China's space docking technology, marking significant progress in the second step of China's manned space program," the statement said.

"The success of the mission has demonstrated the extraordinary wisdom and remarkable creativity of the Chinese people."

It hailed the mission as a "new great achievement" that will strengthen China's economic and scientific power and enhance national cohesion.

The three astronauts are outstanding representatives who have contributed to the success of the mission, the statement said.

Calling them "brave explorers" of the Chinese nation who advocate the peaceful use of outer space, the statement called on the country to learn from the astronauts' bravery, hardwork and self-sacrifice.

China is the third country after the United States and Russia to acquire the technologies and skills necessary for space rendezvous and docking procedures, as well as supply manpower and materials for an orbiting module via different docking methods.

Previous docking procedures conducted between Shenzhou-type spacecraft and the orbiting space lab included two automated dockings by the unmanned Shenzhou-8 in 2011 and both an automated and manual docking by the manned Shenzhou-9 in 2012.

Since its first manned space mission in 2003, China has sent 10 astronauts and six spacecraft into space.


Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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