Xi talks with astronauts stationed in space station core module
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday morning spoke with the three astronauts stationed in the country's space station core module Tianhe.
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), held the conversation from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, speaking with Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo. The three astronauts were sent into space aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship on June 17.
Xi warmly greeted the astronauts on behalf of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, the CMC, and people of all ethnic groups in the country.
"You are the first astronauts stationed in the core module Tianhe and will stay in space for three months," Xi said during the video call. "We all care about you very much."
In response to Xi's inquiries about their health, living conditions and work, Nie, commander of the crew, said they were in good health and their work was going well.
"This is my third space mission. I work and live in Tianhe, and the conditions are getting better and better. Now we have a permanent home operating in orbit, and we are proud of our great Party and motherland," said Nie.
Liu told the president that this was his second space mission and that he felt it to be a great honor and responsibility.
"Later we will carry out a series of technological verification experiments, including two extravehicular activities (EVAs) and robotic arm operations. We will carry out the operations carefully to ensure the success of all tests," said Liu.
Tang, who is on his first space mission, said he had adapted to the weightless environment.
"I eat, live and work well, and I can make video calls with my family. Our home in space is very cozy and comfortable, and we have full confidence in completing the upcoming tasks," said Tang.
Xi said he was delighted to learn that the astronauts were in good condition and their work was progressing smoothly.
"The construction of the space station is a milestone in China's space industry, which will make pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of space by humanity," said Xi.
"You are the representatives of those who are striving and climbing in China's space industry in the new era. I hope you will work closely with each other and complete the upcoming tasks," said Xi.
He expressed his hope that the three astronauts would work and live well in space. "We are waiting for your triumphant return in Beijing."
Prior to the conversation, Xi watched both the operations of the in-orbit complex including the core module and Shenzhou-12, and the astronauts' work in orbit via a large screen in the center's command hall.
The screen showed Nie, Liu and Tang conducting in-orbit training with a robotic arm, and inspecting and setting the status of the extravehicular spacesuit in preparation for EVAs.
China launched its space station core module Tianhe on April 29.
Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, participated in Wednesday's event.