State honours for China’s spacewalk astronauts

November 7th, 2008 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Nov 7 (Xinhua) Chinese President Hu Jintao Friday presented medals and certificates to astronauts Jing Haipeng, Liu Boming and the country’s first space walker Zhai Zhigang for their historic performance even as the government decided to decorate them with state honours.The government said Zhai would be conferred with the title of Space Flight Hero while Liu and Jing would be decorated with the title of Heroic Astronaut.

The Chinese Shenzhou VII spacecraft blasted off Sep 25 carrying the three astronauts into space on the country’s third three-day manned space mission in five years and the first space walk venture.

The government has spent billions of dollars in recent years building up a space programme that it hopes will help China establish a space station by 2020 and eventually will put a man on the moon.

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