"I still remember the morning of Oct. 12, when we immediately took off with the order of the control center and started our space journey we had been dreaming of," Hero Taikonaut Nie Haisheng told Hong Kong students.
The Delegation of Shenzhou VI Manned Space Mission met students from three universities Monday morning in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Nie Haisheng and Fei Junlong, who were awarded the title of "Hero Taikonaut" on Nov. 26 in Beijing, shared their experience in the space with the students.
Nie told the students, "We entered the orbit 10 minutes later. On 17:25, we took off the safety belt and experienced the amazing feeling of floating around."
He recalled, "I realized this was the great success of our motherland and the victory of mankind. We felt we were not alone. We were flying together with our motherland."
Nie Haisheng and Fei Junlong were the second team of Chinese taikonauts who successfully accomplished its space mission. Two years ago, Yang Liwei, China's first taikonaut, stayed one day in the space, making China one of the few countries with the ability of sending human beings to the space.
Fei Junlong, the taikonaut flying with Nie, introduced his space life, including listening to the national anthem, doing scientific experiments, viewing entertaining videos, even doing forward flips in the cabin.
He explained, "I was wondering how to show our space life to the audience and let them know we were in good health when we flied in the space. Then I thought taking flips forward was a good idea to show what we were feeling. I wanted my foreign counterparts to know that Chinese taikonauts enjoy the space life as well as they do."
Talking about the beauty of the space, Nie said, "The space is extremely beautiful. We were very excited whenever we flied above our motherland. We could see the desert of Xinjiang, the long coast line of our motherland and especially the Taiwan island, which is like a jade on the ocean."
"We missed our motherland and families very much. We felt very excited when we realized we could return home the next day," Nie recalled.
On Oct. 17, the Shenzhou VI spacecraft landed on the earth safely around 4:32 AM after five days in the space, which marked a great step forward in the space industry of China since it sent Yang Liwei to the space.
The taikonauts told the students they decided to throw themselves to the space industry when they first entered the team. It was this decision that helped them finish 58 training programs within two years.
They said the aim of this taikonaut team was to take the space challenge together. They helped each other and shared their experience with other astronauts. Their success not belonged to themselves but belonged to the whole team.
Seeing the space heroes in person made many students feel excited. Li Qinglin, a student from the Chinese mainland in an exchange program, said he always followed the news of the Shenzhou VI and really wanted to see the taikonauts.
Song Xin, a students from Hong Kong Baptist University, said, " The space heroes are very easy-going. We are so moved when we heard the national anthem. Hong Kong students are very patriotic. We are a big family."
(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2005)