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Thread: To the space

  1. #1 To the space 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    When Yang Liwei was in space in 2003, he kept saying to the people on the ground, "I feel well". As China's first astronaut, to "stay well" was his main job at the time.

    On October 15, 2003, Yang Liwei was sent into space in the Shenzhou V spacecraft. He spent 21 hours in space and landed safely the next day. It made China the third country to have successfully sent a person into space. The other two countries are Russia and the US.

    While in space, Yang took photos and recorded everything he saw. He also ate a meal of diced chicken and fried rice, before taking a 3-hour nap .

    Important work

    Yang's experience was important for China's space exploration . The space program needed to know many things from the trip. What happens to the human body in space? Was the spacesuit comfortable? Yang's answers helped scientists improve the next space trip.

    Two years later in 2005, China sent Shenzhou VI into space. This time, there were two astronauts, Nie Haisheng and Fei Junlong. They were able to stay in space longer – for almost five days.

    Yang was born in Liaoning. His home is beside the sea. Young Yang dreamed that one day he would fly like a seagull. His dream came true when he became a pilot in 1987. After 11 years of flying, the 41-year-old was selected to train to become an astronaut.

    "When I boarded the spacecraft for the first time, I couldn't help feeling excited," he said. "I never dreamt that I would one day fly so far into space!"

    Now Yang Liwei works in China's astronaut training center. He helps to pick and train astronauts.

    In the near future, China plans to build its own space station. Longer term plans include a landing on the Moon. Maybe soon we'll see Yang and other Chinese astronauts on a spacewalk!

    Job figures


    In 2003, China had 14 astronauts, including Yang. They were all male and were chosen from China's air force pilots.

    1.7 & 65

    The Chinese men chosen were a bit smaller than average – 1.7-meter-tall and 65 kilograms. This is because the capsule is very small. But with larger spaceships, it will be possible to choose astronauts as tall as 1.9 meters.


    NASA of the US has the most astronauts – 95.

    Career tips

    SO you want to be an astronaut like Yang? Here are some things you can do:

    Make models : Making models teaches us how things work. It's good practice to put something together.

    Stay in shape: You don't have to be Superman, but you have got to be healthy to get through training.

    Visit a space museum: Learn as much about space as you can.

    Learn to fly: Many astronauts are pilots before they go into space. Yang Liwei flew 1,350 hours for the Chinese Air Force .

    Learn good English: Astronauts have good English skills. Yang Liwei practiced English every day. He got a full mark in the final test.

    Space food for Chinese astronauts (L). Astronauts sleep in sleeping bags with their arms folded across their chests (R).

    DO you want to know how astronauts eat, sleep and go to toilet in space?

    Food stays in the air in space. Astronauts eat with their hands. Or they float to the food and get it with their mouths.

    Astronauts float in the spacecraft. They fix sleeping bags to the wall so they can get a good sleep. It is not easy. Some astronauts say it is like trying to sleep in bathwater.

    When Yang Liwei was in space, he didn't have a toilet. So he used diapers. The astronauts on Shenzhou VI were luckier. They had a toilet which sucked up everything.


    Name: Yang Liwei

    Age: 41

    Title: Astronaut Work place:

    China's astronaut training center

    The astronauts wear a headset for communication. They use this to keep in touch with ground control.

    This black button is used to change the pressure, humidity and temparature inside the astronauts' spacesuits.

    Through this long pipe, the astronauts receive oxygen and carbon dioxide is let out.

    The spacesuit for Chinese astroanuts weighs about 10kg. It costs over 100 million yuan.

    Astronauts experience weightlessness. It is a part of their training. Astronauts also learn about space, how to live upside-down and life on a spacecraft. Yang Liwei spent five years training for his space trip.

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