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Wednesday, November 9, 2016, 21:42

Xi greets orbiting astronauts in milestone video call

By Cheng Yingqi

Xi greets orbiting astronauts in milestone video call
Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with the two astronauts in the space lab Tiangong-2, at the command center of China's manned space program in Beijing on Nov 9, 2016. (Xinhua)

President Xi Jinping greeted two Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong II space lab during a video call on Wednesday afternoon.

Xi asked about the physical condition, living conditions and work progress of Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong during the half-month they have been in space so far. The mission will last a month.

We are in good health. And our work is going smoothly

Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou XI space mission

"We are in good health. And our work is going smoothly," Jing said. "We can even watch live broadcasting of Xinwen Lianbo (CCTV's flagship news program at 7pm) on the spaceship with a smooth and clear picture."

He said the two are enjoying better working and living conditions aboard the space module, which is linked to the Shenzhou XI spacecraft , than their predecessors, adding, "We feel so proud of our country."

Xi encouraged the astronauts to redouble their efforts and cooperate with each other closely to complete the mission successfully.

The Shenzhou XI space mission is China's sixth manned space mission. In the course of these missions, technology for ground-to-space calls has developed rapidly.

Yang Yu, a CCTV commentator, said, "For the audience, the most impressive part about the space-ground calls is the emotional communication that was supported by technological breakthroughs."

chengyingqi@chinadaily.com.cn

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