Zheng Songhui, advisor to the Shenzhou Space Program, spoke at the media center on Sept. 26 about his feelings after seeing Shenzhou Ⅶ blast off. He expressed his pleasure at seeing more and more young Chinese turning to research work in science and technology.
"Now what we most want to see is the spacecraft return to earth safely, and the three astronauts receive the blessing of the whole nation. Frankly speaking, I am delighted to see more and more young Chinese pursuing research work in science and technology. In our group, the commanders in chief were all born in the 1960s, the directors and designers were born in 70s, but the practical workers were all born in the 80s." he said.
"Shenzhou Ⅶ has entered orbit and for the time being I am feeling very calm; later, when we see our craft and astronauts land safely, we can celebrate for them. I have been through the whole process from the launches of Shenzhou1 to Shenzhou Ⅶ, and every time we make progress.For example, our aim for ShenzhouⅤwas to be able to establish communication between the astronauts and the command center back on earth. The Shenzhou Ⅵ mission marked the first time the astronauts left their flight module and entered the experiment-filled orbital module. Two Chinese astronauts were sent into space aboard Shenzhou Ⅵ when the Long March 2F rocket lifted off, while Shenzhou Ⅶ, with three taikonauts has a more complex task: to make the nation's first attempt at a space walk." said Zheng Songhui.
When asked about his focus this time, he answered "The key is the spacecraft. We are the builders, paying attention to every detail, and we are happy to see the craft working well."
Zheng Songhui, born in Chenghai City in Shantou, was recruited by the Department of Automation of the Science and Technology University of China. He had been working on research in return satellites from 1967 to 1992, and later as an Assistant Chief Designer. He is now a tutor in the Research College of Space Technology in China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and has made an enormous contribution to the research and testing of spacecraft.
(China.org.cn by Jessica Zhang, September 27,2008)