This video grab taken from the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows Chinese astronauts on the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft greeting the nation and the Chinese in the globe for the Dragon Boat Festival, on June 12. The words on the paper read "Happy Dragon Boat Festival!" (XINHUA)
China is pursuing its space dream unswervingly, President Xi Jinping said following the successful launch of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft on Tuesday.
The Long March 2F carrier rocket with three astronauts — commander Nie Haisheng, astronaut Zhang Xiaoguang and the second Chinese woman in space Wang Yaping — blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province at 5:38 p.m. on Tuesday.
Xi met with representatives from organizations taking part in the mission at the center in the remote Gobi desert on Tuesday evening, and extended his congratulations and greetings.
"The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft has been successfully launched and precisely put into orbit, which means that our country's fifth manned space mission has succeeded in the first phase," he said.
"At this very moment, I am sharing the same feeling with everyone," he said. "I am very happy and excited."
Xi said China is pursuing its space dream continuously by developing the space industry and turning the country into a space power.
The Shenzhou-10 mission is of great significance for the country's efforts to consolidate and improve the rendezvous and docking technology and promote the development of a space lab and space station, he said.
Xi spoke highly of those involved in the manned space program, praising them for their hard work, and urged them to exert persistent efforts and carry out all subsequent work carefully.
(China Daily June 12, 2013)