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China Daily Website

Space dream one step closer to reality

Updated: 2013-06-27 02:35
By XIN DINGDING in Beijing, CHEN JIA in San Francisco and ZHANG CHUNYAN in London ( China Daily)

Space dream one step closer to reality

Astronaut Nie Haisheng waves to people outside the Shenzhou X re-entry capsule after a safe landing in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region at about 8 am on Wednesday. WU YUNSHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

The three Shenzhou X astronauts ended their mission by touching down on the prairies of the Inner Mongolia autonomous region shortly after 8 am in windy weather.

After remaining in the re-entry capsule for 85 minutes to adjust to the Earth‘s gravity, crew commander Nie Haisheng, woman astronaut Wang Yaping and astronaut Zhang Xiaoguang were helped out of the capsule one by one by ground staff.

Sitting in a row in chairs, they smiled and waved to the TV cameras. All three are in good health after the country's longest manned space mission.

"It's good to be home," Nie said, while Wang Yaping, China's first astronaut to deliver a lecture from space on the effects of weightlessness, said: "This mission made me realize two dreams — my dream of flying to outer space, and my dream of being a teacher. If you have a dream, you can succeed."

After a brief welcoming ceremony, the astronauts flew to Beijing on a chartered flight.

The completion of the Shenzhou-10 and Tiangong-1 mission has marked a staged success in achieving the second strategic goal of China's manned space program, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said Wednesday.

"The complete success of Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-X mission has further consolidated China's space rendezvous and docking expertise and marked a great staged success in achieving the second-phase target of the nation's manned space program," Zhang said in a congratulatory letter read on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

Zhang watched the live broadcast of the return and recovery of Shenzhou-10 spacecraft from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center Wednesday morning.

He said the completion of the mission also marked that China's manned space program has entered the new stage of space station construction.

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