How China’s astronauts train for space missions

Chinese-language film adopts patriotic tone, with astronauts speaking of their pride in taking part in missions

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 5:46pm

The Chinese authorities have released two videos to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the country’s astronaut training programme.

The films – in Mandarin and English – are aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of and interest in China’s space programme.

In the Chinese video, entitled “See the Dream, Continue the Glory”, there are clips from previous Chinese space missions and astronauts talk about their role in the programme.

“At that moment, the mission is more important than life,” Liu Boming, who flew on the Shenzhen 7 mission in 2008, is quoted as saying.

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Zhang Xiaoguang, who flew on Shenzhou 10 in 2013, keeps up the patriotic tone of the video, saying: “The farther away from earth, the closer the heart is to our motherland.”

The English-language video, entitled “Striving to Make Dreams Come True”, takes a less obviously patriotic tone. Chinese astronauts are shown undergoing the rigorous training for space missions.

Jing Haipeng, who also flew on the Shenzhou 7, is shown in a pool training for the effects of weightlessness in space

In another sequence, Fei Junlong, who flew on Shenzhou 6, is subjected to extreme jolts and vibrations in a special chair to simulate the rigours of take-off.

The video ends by lauding the achievements of China’s space programme, adding that the nation’s orbiting space station is due to be built by about 2022.

The two videos garnered a lot of likes on China’s equivalent of Twitter, Weibo.

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“This is the first time showing how the astronauts are trained. Their devotion and sacrifice moved me,” one person wrote.

Another said” “The happiest thing is that all of you come back safely.”

China put its first manned mission into space in 2003.

Since then it missions have included putting a rover on the surface of the moon.