Raumfahrt - Shenzhou-9 UPDATE


BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao came to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Tuesday and spoke with astronauts currently implementing the space mission aboard the conjoint Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and Tiangong-1 orbiter.
The President was accompanied by senior leaders Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang.
Hu extended his sincere greetings to the three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut.
"You have spent nearly 10 days in space, we care about you. How are you feeling?" asked the president.
Mission commander Jing said they were in good condition and told the president, "Chinese astronauts have their own home in space now. We are proud of our country!"
Hu also asked whether their assignments were going well.
Jing said that all work was going smoothly, the manual docking had been completed successfully and the crew members were doing scientific experiments as planned.
Hu praised the astronauts for their excellent performance in China's first manual rendezvous and docking mission, which showcased the country's full command of space docking technologies.
The president thanked the astronauts for their contributions to the country's manned space program, adding, "We and your families are looking forward to your successful and safe return."
The three astronauts saluted the president at the end of their talk.
Landing zone gears up for Shenzhou-9 return
SIZIWANG BANNER,A landing zone for the orbiting Shenzhou-9 spacecraft went into operation Monday to prepare for the return of the craft and its three crew members, according to landing zone personnel.
Personnel and equipment that are responsible for retrieval, search and rescue missions have arrived at the landing area in Siziwang Banner (county) in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, landing zone personnel said.
Astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft conducted China's first manual space docking procedure on Sunday with the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module.
The landing zone has been used for all previous Shenzhou space missions.
Update: 27.06.2012
Weather Suits Shenzhou-9 Astronauts' Landing: Forecast
A weather forecast on Wednesday from meteorological authorities with north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region has indicated conditions will suit the scheduled return to Earth of the country's Shenzhou-9 astronauts later this week.
A return capsule is due to land Shenzhou-9's three-member crew in Inner Mongolia's Siziwang Banner (county) on Friday, when the region is expected to see clouds with clear spells.
The landing zone will receive light to moderate rain with thunder form Wednesday to Thursday, according to the regional meteorological bureau.
And the weather is now changing to a beneficial condition that meets the requirements of the landing, said Han Jingwei, the bureau's chief weatherman.
The bureau has undertaken extensive observation ahead of the landing, with June a month that typically contains the year's most complicated weather, he added.
Astronauts aboard Shenzhou-9 conducted China's first manual space docking procedure on Sunday, when they piloted their spacecraft to meet the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module.
The landing zone has been used for all previous Shenzhou space missions.
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