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Jing (C), commander of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, Liu (R) and Liu Yang/XINHUA

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Chinese astronauts healthy after longest space mission

Jing (C), commander of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, Liu (R) and Liu Yang/XINHUA

BEIJING, Jul 14 – After a two-week quarantine and recovery, three Chinese astronauts that successfully fulfilled China’s first manned space docking mission appeared in public on Friday.

At the Astronaut Center of China in northwest suburb Beijing, Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, China’s first female in space, met the press and shared their experiences of the 13-day mission, the longest one so far for the country.

The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft was boosted into a low-earth orbit on June 16, and the crew succeeded in manually docking the spacecraft with China’s first space lab in-orbit Tiangong-1 one week later, paving the way for the construction of a space station.

After the crew safely re-entered the atmosphere and landed on June 29, the three astronauts were quarantined to re-adapt themselves to the earth’s gravity and recover heath conditions.

According to Chen Shanguang, director of the astronaut centre, the three astronauts will be in rehabilitation from mid July to the end of the month. After that, researchers need to monitor their health conditions for another three months to ensure a complete recovery.

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