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China's Shenzhou-9 mission successful

06-30-2012 13:28 BJT

China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft returned safely to earth Friday morning after spending 13 days in space. With this mission now complete, China has made history.
CCTV'S Sean Callebs takes a look back at this remarkable journey.

Safe and sound. China's Shenzhou-9 capsule touched down at around 10am local time Friday morning in Inner Mongolia autonomous region. 

Medical staff quickly reached the astronauts and reported all three were in good condition. Mission commander Jing Haipeng was the first to emerge.

Jing Haipeng, Shenzhou-9 commander, said, "We have successfully accomplished China's first manned space docking mission. We returned home safely. We thank our motherland and  those people who have shown great care for us ."

After a welcome home ceremony, the three astronauts took a rest and had their first meal in eight hours. In the capital city Beijing, Premier Wen Jiabao hailed this mission as a complete success.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said, "The successful docking of the Tiangong-1 and manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 was another significant breakthrough for China's space docking technology. It's the second strategic step for China's manned space program which  shows we have made important progress."

The completion of this mission marks a series of firsts for China.

Wang Zhaoyao, China manned space engineering office Director, said, "We've accomplished the first manned flight since the rocket and spacecraft technology was upgraded. It was the first successful manual rendezvous and docking. It was the first entry into Tiangong-1 as a target vehicle, and it was also the first time for China to send a female astronaut into space."

The Shenzhou-9 blasted off into space nearly two weeks ago. Shortly after reaching the orbiting space lab, the capsule successfully carried out two dockings--an automatic docking and a manual one. With their mission accomplished, the crew then returned safely home.

It's a major step towards reaching the country's space exploration goals.  Next up for China--preparations for a Shenzhou 10 mission are underway.  China also plans to build a space station by 2020 and put a man on the moon.

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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