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Material for the press conference of the State Council Information Office


Speech on the press conference of the

State Council Information Office

Wang Zhaoyao, Deputy Director, China Manned Space Engineering Office

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning! It’s very pleased for us to meet you. Now I would like to inform you of the complete success of Tiangong 1 and Shenzhou 8 space rendezvous and docking mission.

At 19:32 p.m. November 17, 2011, the return cabin of Shenzhou 8 spaceship landed in the main recovery site, which is located to the middle of Inner Mongolia, and was successfully recovered. Thus, Tiangong 1 and Shenzhou 8 space rendezvous and docking mission has fully realized its objective of “Accurate entry into orbit, precise rendezvous and docking, stable assembly operation, and safe return”. It marks the critical breakthrough of rendezvous and docking technology, makes a great stride for China’s space technology, and sets a milestone for China manned space development.

Now, I would like to briefly review this mission:
At 21:16 p.m., September 29 and 05:58:07 a.m., November 1, 2011, the Tiangong 1 target spacecraft and Shenzhou 8 spaceship were respectively launched and precisely sent into orbits by advanced Long March 2F rockets from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. On Nov 3 and 14, Tiangong 1 and Shenzhou 8 successfully conducted two rendezvous and docking procedures in space.

After entering its orbit, Shenzhou 8 undertook long distance navigation and automatic control flight. At 01:36 a.m. November 3, 2011, Shenzhou 8 successfully conducted the first rendezvous and docking with Tiangong 1 target spacecraft at a near-circle orbit with the height of 343 kilometers. The two spacecrafts physically connected to form a docking assembly. During its operation, the assembly’s flight control relied on Tiangong 1, and Shenzhou 8 was in a status of berthing. The assembly carried out a series of tests , such as flight control model switches, power units switches, power supply and information combination, which fully validate the working model of the assembly.

In order to further validate the functions and performance of telemetry facilities and docking mechanism, Shenzhou 8 separated from Tiangong 1 after 12 days of flight, and conducted the second docking at 20:00 on November 14.

At 18:44 p.m., November 16, Shenzhou 8 separated for the second time from Tiangong 1 under the ground control. From 18:45 p.m., the spaceship shifted into return procedure, and landed accurately in the scheduled area at 19:36. Today, Tiangong 1 will change its orbit up to a height of 370 km, and transfer into a long term operation model, waiting for docking with Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10.

During the flight of Shenzhou 8, the general biological experimental device functioned normally, and 17 samples of Sino-Germany cooperative space life science experiments were recovered last night.

Tiangong 1 also carried out a series of scientific experiments and technological tests as scheduled, including space to earth remote sensing exploration application experiment, space materials scientific experiment, space environment and space physical detection tests, etc.

During this mission, Long march 2F carrier rocket, Tiangong 1 target spacecraft and Shenzhou 8 spaceship all performed well and functioned normally. The launch site system realized “Zero window launch”. The TT&C system, which is composed of flight control center, ground control stations, tracking ships and “Tianlian” data relay satellites, provided accurate tracking, telemetry, control and communication support. The landing site system organized efficient recovery of the spaceship. The whole mission proceeded smoothly and fruitfully.

The successful completion of this mission should be attributed to the leadership of the CPC, the State Council, and the CMC. It should also be attributed to the support of the People, and endeavors of all staff in the mission.

At the time of victory celebration, we clearly realize that a technological gap still exists between China manned space and international advanced status. And our work is still far away from the requirements of Party and People. The missions in future are arduous, and there are grand tasks to perform and a long way to go. We will make unremitting endeavor and keep going.

During the course, all the Chinese people and international friends paid enthusiastic attention to this mission, with the domestic and international media giving an overall report to the whole event. On behalf of Mission Headquarters and all staffs in the mission, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the intense caring and substantial support from all sides.

Now, Mr. Sun Weigang, Mr. Zhao Guangheng and I are willing to answer the questions.

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