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2 astronauts describe food and fun on 33-day journey, say time flew by

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-08 07:30

2 astronauts describe food and fun on 33-day journey, say time flew by

Chinese astronaut Chen Dong (R) answers questions during a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Dec 7, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Staying home for a whole week might seem unbearable to most people, but for astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, staying in space for a month was not enough.

"We hoped that the mission could last longer because we had so much fun in space," said Jing, commander of the Shenzhou XI mission. "We had a very memorable journey."

Jing, 50, who is now China's most experienced astronaut, and Chen, 37, a first-time space flier, met with reporters on Wednesday at the Astronaut Center of China in Beijing's northwestern suburbs.

Appearing in public for the first time since returning to Earth on Nov 18, following a monthlong mission in orbit, the two were kept at a safe distance from reporters because they were still in quarantine.

The astronauts embarked on the space trip aboard the Shenzhou XI spacecraft from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Oct 17. They entered the Tiangong II space laboratory, which was launched in mid-September from the same center, on Oct 19.

Their 33-day journey was the longest space stay by Chinese astronauts. The longest previous space trip by Chinese astronauts was the 15-day Shenzhou X mission in June 2013.

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