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Chinese astronauts meet the press after space mission

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-07 20:59

BEIJING - The two astronauts who manned China's Shenzhou-11 mission met the press Wednesday following almost three weeks in quarantine.

Jing Haipeng, 50, commander of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, and Chen Dong, 38, appeared in good spirits and shared their experiences with the press.

"Today, we fulfilled our commitment to (making the Shenzhou-11 mission a complete success)," Jing said.

Launched on Oct. 17, Shenzhou-11 docked two days later with China's first space lab, Tiangong-2, where the two astronauts lived for 30 days, the longest time a taikonaut has spent in space.

After safely returning to Earth on Nov. 18, the two astronauts were quarantined to help them readapt to life on Earth.

It was the third space mission for Jing, who also participated in the Shenzhou-7 and Shenzhou-9 missions.

"Compared with previous missions, I really enjoyed and experienced weightlessness during this mission as a result of improved technology and working environment," Jing told reporters.

The two astronauts were able to watch TV programs and enjoy delicious food during their stay in space.

"Listening to music and watching TV made us feel good when we ate," Jing said.

It was Chen's first space mission. He said that at the very beginning, he needed restraining devices for every step, but he gradually adapted to the zero gravity environment.

"I began to enjoy the zero gravity environment and learned new moves such as somersaulting and whirling in space," Chen said.

"I would give Chen a mark of 100 out of 100," Jing told the press while commenting on Chen's performance.

According to Huang Weifen, deputy chief designer of the astronaut system with the Astronaut Center of China, the astronauts' health checks met expectations, although they will continue to be observed for another month to ensure they are completely acclimatized.

The Shenzhou-11 mission is part of China's ambitious plan to build a permanent manned space station.

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