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President Hu celebrates successful Shenzhou-9 launch


19:53, June 16, 2012

JIUQUAN, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday congratulated the country's space scientists and astronauts on the successful launch of the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft.

"I feel very glad to hear the success of launching the Shenzhou-9 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-9 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-9 spacecraft, into space.

Shenzhou-9, atop an upgraded Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 6:37 p.m. Saturday.


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