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China's first female astronaut meets media

Updated: 2012-06-15 18:59
( Xinhua)

JIUQUAN - China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, together with her two male crew mates Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang, met the media on Friday.

The three astronauts will board the Shenzhou IX spacecraft on Saturday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China to fulfill China's first manned space docking mission.

China's first female astronaut meets media

China's first female astronaut Liu Yang salutes during a news conference at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in Northwest China's Gansu province, June 15, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

"I am grateful to the motherland and the people. I feel honored to fly into the space on behalf of hundreds of millions of female Chinese citizens," said Liu Yang.

She said that to be an astronaut, one has to obtain a lot of theoretical knowledge, go through very challenging space living environment training and survive examinations on operation skills with no error.

"The sense of mission and responsibility as well as the passion for aerospace undertakings are the source of courage to overcome difficulties," she said.

"When I was a pilot, I flew in the sky. Now I am an astronaut, I will fly in the space. That will be a higher and farther flight, " Liu said.

She said many tasks have been arranged for this space trip. "Aside from fulfilling the tasks, I want to experience the fantastic environment in space and appreciate the beautiful Earth and our homeland from the space."

She said she will keep a detailed record of her feelings and experiences and share with scientists and future astronauts when she comes back. She also  expressed her gratefulness to all the people.

"I will live up to your expectations and work with my teammates to fulfil this space mission," she said.

All three crew members are former pilots of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). They are all members of the Communist Party of China.

Enlisted in the army in 1997, Liu was a veteran pilot with 1,680 hours of flying experience and the deputy head of a flight unit of the PLA's Air Force before being recruited into China's second batch of prospective astronauts in May 2010. She is now an air force major.

After two years of training that has shored up her astronautic skills and adaptability to the space environment, Liu excelled in testing and was selected in March this year as a candidate to crew the Shenzhou-9.

Special Coverage: China to launch Shenzhou IX

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