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LinkAsia | Jun 22
With China's ambitious space program capturing the world's attention this week, host Yul Kwon speaks with Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned...
Welcome back to LinkAsia. High above China, three Chinese astronauts will be moving into their new home in outer space for two weeks. Earlier this week, the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 space lab, representing the latest triumph in China's ambitious space program. CCTV has this report.
Blasting off in a rather limited space in the Shenzhou-9. It took the three Chinese astronauts almost two days of orbital maneuvering and a good half hours walking and crawling to finally reach the more roomy Tiangong-1.
Deng Yibing, Chief Engineer, China Astronaut Research and Training Center:
It was the busiest day for the astronauts since the blast off. They didn't even have the time to eat lunch. They have to monitor the automatic docking and prepare for the future manual docking. They also took some samples of the air in the laboratory. The temperature, humidity and the level of carbon dioxide and oxygen partial pressure are all fantastic.
Despite being 350 kilometers away from Mother Earth, the astronauts are now working and living by the familiar Beijing time. On their first night aboard Tiangong-1, commander Jing Haipeng stood watch, and crewmembers Liu Wang and Liu Yang rested. But even in their sleep, they were sending valuable data to scientists back home.
Li Yinghui, Deputy Chief Designer, China Manned Space Engineering Project:
We are taking special notice about astronauts' sleep. We want to know whether they have slept well and whether they were disturbed in their sleep. They're also wearing special designed watches that can record data on their physiological changes during their sleep. They will also answer questionnaires, so we can get both subjective and objective data.
Li says any biological medical data from the astronauts will be of great value for future research efforts, so they will leave no stones unturned in monitoring them. While scientists on the ground are busy watching out for the health of the astronauts, the astronauts are conducting medical experiments of their own in space. Subjects of research include in-orbit biological monitoring, the physiological effects mechanism of weightlessness and bone loss in space.