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Yang's physical check-up flawless
( 2003-10-17 01:02) (China Daily)

Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut, is in good physical health after his historic mission, Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday.

Yang underwent a comprehensive battery of internal medical examinations as well as other checkups and all the results showed he is in good physical condition, sources with a Beijing-based aerospace medical engineering institute said.

The good test results mean his convalescence could be shortened from seven days to two or three days, an official source said.

In an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) on Friday, Yang said he felt fortunate to be China's first astronaut.

When he got the news that he had been selected for the Shenzhou-V mission, he promised to see it through with no problems.

"I also felt that I shouldered a great responsibility because I was going to realize what had been dreamed of for over a thousand years,'' he said.

The most uncomfortable period during the flight was when the spaceship entered orbit, Yang said, adding: "I felt that my body was upside down.'.

During the five-year astronaut training programme, many exercises were designed to challenge the endurance of the trainees, he said.

For example, in one exercise the pressure imposed on the body was the equivalent of bearing the weight of eight people.

Before the flight Yang repeated the exercises for 12 consecutive days, with each session lasting 45 minutes to an hour.

On board the space capsule, Yang recorded his feelings and experiences for the benefit of future astronauts.

He said some feelings and experience during the flight were unprecedented, even during the training he received.

Yang had three meals during the flight. There were many varieties of food on board and he just chose according to his taste, he said.

Speaking of the unexpected telephone conversation with his family, Yang said: "I was excited and felt it was meaningful to talk with my family under this circumstance.''

During the conversation his wife and son said they were proud of him and wished him good luck.

Yang said when the spaceship was circling the earth for the last time, he tried to observe more of the outside scene.

It is difficult to describe the feeling at that time, Yang said, adding that he felt both a bit reluctant to leave space and a bit anxious to return home.

Earth looked very beautiful from space, Yang said. However he did not see the Great Wall, although there is a popular myth that it's the only man-made object that can be seen from outer space.

Yang said the honour of achieving the mission should belong to all those who worked so diligently to make China's first manned flight a success.

"No matter which astronaut carries out the task, he stands for the whole group,'' he said.

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