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Chinese astronauts meet the press after space mission


The two astronauts Jing Haipeng (L) and Chen Dong who manned China’s Shenzhou-11 mission meet the press following almost three weeks in quarantine in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 7, 2016. (Xinhua/Ju Zhenhua)

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Chinese astronauts meet the press after space mission

BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — The two astronauts who manned China’s Shenzhou-11 mission met the press Wednesday following almost three weeks in quarantine.

Jing Haipeng, 55, commander of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, and Chen Dong, 38, appeared in good spirits and shared their experiences with the press.

Launched on Oct. 17, Shenzhou-11 docked two days later with China’s first space lab, Tiangong-2, where the two astronauts lived for 30 days, the longest time a taikonaut has spent in space.

After safely returning to Earth on Nov. 18, the two astronauts were quarantined to help them readapt to life on Earth.

According to Huang Weifen, deputy chief designer of the astronaut system with the Astronaut Center of China, the astronauts’ health checks matched expectations, however, they will continue to be observed for another month to ensure they are completely acclimatized.

It was the third space mission for Jing, 50, who also participated in the Shenzhou-7 and Shenzhou-9 missions.

It was Chen’s first space mission.

The Shenzhou-11 mission is part of China’s ambitious plan to build a permanent manned space station.

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