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Giant leap for China
作者:21ST    来源:高中版第100期    日期: 2010-12-14

外研版高一年级:Newspaper and magazines

关键词:Newspapers; news stories; space; space travel

话题归类:热点话题Topical issues


A few days ago, he was just Colonel (上校) Yang; few people knew his name or recognized his face. But last Thursday, when he came back to the earth after a 21-hour trip to space, Yang Liwei's smile was seen across the world above the magic words: "China's first spaceman".

The 38-year-old astronaut was sent into space at 9am last Wednesday by China's Shenzhou V spacecraft, which orbited the earth 14 times. He landed safely at 6:23am the next day, making China the third country to successfully send a person into space, after the former Soviet Union and the US.

Yang was satisfied with his job. "I have seen many landing scenes before on video, and I think ours was one of the most successful," he said on a special plane to Beijing after landing.

Born into an ordinary family in Liaoning Province, he became a pilot in the Chinese Air Force in 1987, spending 1,350 hours in the air. He joined the Chinese space programme 11 years later.

While in space, Yang recorded everything he saw as well as showing China's national flag and the United Nations' flag to the people watching on TV at home. He also ate a meal of diced chicken and fried rice, before taking a 3-hour nap. The whole project went according to plan, but space exploration is not as easy as it seems.

Anyone who saw the destruction of the US space shuttle Columbia in February this year will know that Yang took a great risk.

He experienced extremely high temperatures, while the gravitational forces (重力) on takeoff and landing were strong enough to force tears from his eyes.

He has spent five years training to become a spaceman.

"I eat all of my meals at the space programme's dinning room and have never been able to take my son to kindergarten," he said. "I've never met his teachers."

But becoming China's first spaceman has made all the effort worthwhile.

"When I boarded the spacecraft for the first time, I couldn't help feeling excited," he said. "I decided that I had to fly it."

To Chinese people, Yang is now a hero. One visitor to a Xinhua news agency online forum (网上论坛) said: "Yang's trip is a giant leap forward for China."

Officials say the next Shenzhou will be launched by 2005. China also plans to develop spacewalking and a space lab.

关键词:外研版 高一 Newspaper and magazines 热点话题Topical issues



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