In Chinese astronauts' first interview back on Earth, both astronauts said they were more than satisfied with the equipment and support systems during their trail-blazing mission in space. They also talked about their sleep patterns, emotional responses and revealed some intimate details about space life. Here's what they had to say.
Fei Junlong, astronaut on Shenzhou VI, said, "I just watched the TV. I give full marks to the performance of the spacecraft and the rocket systems. As to the coordination between the two of us, say during the launch, our lab experiments, choosing the landing site, as well as the exit from the capsule, I'd like to give 95 marks ... especially when we can anticipate even better performances in the future, right, Haisheng?"
Nie Haisheng, astronaut on Shenzhou VI, said, "As far as marking or scoring is concerned, I'd rather leave it to other people. But I feel that the whole project was a complete success! There's no doubt about that. Well, that's my rating!"
Fei said, "The somersaults in space were not pre-planned, they were impromptu. We did not know how to do it until we did it. Nor did we know it would be broadcast live. Anyhow, we had become well adjusted to space life by that time."
Fei added, "We slept very well, especially from the third day on. As soon as we climbed into our sleeping bags, we went to sleep right away. Like a log." "I don't remember dreaming. Partly because each time we slept very short periods of time, and partly because we were so exhausted, especially at the beginning of the journey."
Nie said, "Me too. I slept better in the latter half of the journey. At first, we were so excited and we had a lot of work to do, but then we had to catch up with a lot of sleep later. (Laughter) We wanted to accumulate as much information and experience as possible."
Fei said, "Both of us felt great upon touchdown. We remained entirely conscious throughout the landing. We had great close coordination in cutting the parachute. We felt the landing was perfect."
Nie said, "Our responses and judgement came from our day-to-day training. There can be no mistakes in the ways you respond to different scenarios. You can just feel it."
(CCTV October 18, 2005)