The three Shenzhou-7 astronauts have arrived in Beijing after their successful mission, which included China's first space walk. They landed on Monday morning at Beijing Xijiao Airport, where a ceremony was held to celebrate their return.
Chinese taikonauts of Shenzhou7 space module crew wave to local people who came to see them off in Hohhot, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Sept. 29, 2008. A red-carpet ceremony was held here at 6:30 Monday to send off the three astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng back to Beijing, capital of China. [Xinhua]
A moment for heroes coming back home.
Hundreds of people, including senior PLA officials, flocked to Beijing Xijiao Airport to celebrate the trio's glorious return.
After their arrival, the crew gave a brief report of their 68-hour mission.
Zhai Zhigang, Astronaut of Shenzhou 7 Mission said "Astronaut Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng successfully completed the Shenzhou-7 mission by accomplishing EVA and other experiments during a three-day flight, and landed in Inner Mongolia at 5:38 P-M on September 28th."
The Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission hailed their historic achievements.
Guo Boxiong, Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission said "You have successfully completed your mission through your bravery, cool-headed decisions, and meticulous operations during the flight. Especially -- you conducted the country's first-ever space walk, wearing a made-in-China spacesuit. This marks a new page of our country's endeavors in space exploration and peaceful exploitation of space."
In addition to cheers and praise, reuniting with their loved ones was also part of Monday's celebration for these heroic astronauts.
Later, the crew arrived at the Beijing Space Town, where the nerve center of the Shenzhou-7 mission is based.
Hundreds of Chinese space scientists and technicians lined along the roads, hailing the crew's arrival.
The trio is expected to undergo a two-week preventive quarantine in the medical facilities in the space town. And medical experts will thoroughly check their physical and mental health.
(CCTV September 29, 2008)