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Shenzhou Spacecraft Goes on Display in Beijing

The success of China's first manned space mission has raised great interest in the various paraphernalia that accompanied the country's first astronaut into orbit. After being exhibited around China for the past month, the equipment is now returning to Beijing where it will once again be put on display.


This is all the stuff that came with Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut, when he made a safe landing after his successful space journey. The re-entry capsule, the space suit, the space food, and the parachute, are now on show in an exhibition in Beijing.


A visitor said, "I believe we will make rapid progress in our astronautics work, which includes our moon exploration project."


Weighing three tons and looking like a huge bell, the Shenzhou V re-entry capsule is the largest in the world. The material used for its cover was deliberately chosen to prevent it from being affected by the more than a thousand-degree heat during its return to earth. The space suit was made from special material to satisfy the astronauts' needs during both the launch and re-entry process. A button enabled the astronaut to adjust the pressure, temperature, and humidity inside his suit. Also on show are a sample of space food and the parachute which helped the re-entry capsule land at the specified area.


Yuan Jiajun, director of China Academy of Space Technology, said, "We say our equipment are of high quality because they were able to conform to our plan, and meet the related technological requirements for the whole process."


Over the past month, the equipment have been displayed at Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai and Chongqing. The exhibitions attracted tens of thousands of people who wanted to see them up close.


Shenzhou V is a milestone of China's astronautics development that will live forever in the memory of the Chinese people. As China realizes more of its space ambitions in the future, the country can expect to see launches of more Shenzhou spacecraft.


(CCTV.com November 25, 2003)


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