China / Government

Hu celebrates Shenzhou IX launch

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-06-16 20:08

JIUQUAN - Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday congratulated the country's space scientists and astronauts on the successful launch of the Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft.

"I feel very glad to hear the success of launching the Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft and I would like to extend warm congratulations and sincere regards to all those participating in the research and tests (of the country's space program)," Hu said in a congratulatory letter sent from Denmark's Copenhagen, where he is paying a state visit.

State Councilor Liu Yandong read the letter on behalf of the president at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

The rendezvous and docking between the Shenzhou IX spaceship and the orbiting space lab module Tiangong-1 will mark a major breakthrough in the country's manned space program, said Hu in the letter.

He expressed the hope that the space staff carry on their work unremittingly and focus on following jobs to achieve a full-scale triumph.

China on Saturday sent its first female astronaut, together with her two male crew mates, aboard the Shenzhou IX spacecraft, into space.

Shenzhou IX, atop an upgraded Long March 2F carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 6:37 pm Saturday.

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