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Astronaut Jing Haipeng to have 3rd space mission


10-16-2016 09:57 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

China's Jing Haipeng will be the only astronaut in the country to go to space for the third time. He will be the commander of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. And he was also in the Shenzhou 7 and 9 spacecraft.

"After the completion of Shenzhou-9 mission, we will prepare for the next. We will be ready for the selection of our motherland, to make new contributions to China's manned space program," Jing said.

This was from an interview with Jing Haipeng four years ago. Now, he has realized his promise.

"I didn't plan on being part of the Shenzhou-11 crew specifically. Being an astronaut is my post, and I always remind myself that I have to be prepared, even if I will not be selected for the mission," Jing said.

Jing Haipeng was born in 1966. He joined the military service in 1985, and became a part of China's first group of astronauts in 1998. After years of training, he was finally selected for the mission of Shenzhou 6 manned space flight in 2005.

"I didn't fly into space that time, but that didn't bother me. I wasn't ready yet," Jing said.

"He sought guidance from his coaches and other astronauts, and practiced and figured out the best ways of, for instance, improving his breathing. That's really helpful for endurance when operating spacecraft," said Hua Weifen, deputy chief designer of China Astronaut Center.

Then, Jing joined the Shenzhou 7 and 9 missions in 2008 and 2012. In Huang's eyes, Jing's past experience and his participation in the Shenzhou-11 mission is due to his hard work and dedication.

"This is his third space mission, and this really proves that he has exceptional professionalism," Hua said.

"I think during our lifetime, we need to set for us one dream after another. And one goal after another, and to endeavour toward the set objective," Jing said.

Now, Jing Haipeng is about to realize another dream: his third space flight. He's not just happy. He also has inner peace.

"The Olympic Games is held every four years. I conducted my first space mission in 2008, and then again second in 2012, and now, another four years has just passed. I think I need to learn from Chinese Olympic shooter Wang Yifu, who has participated in nine Olympic Games. I still have a long way to go," Jing said.

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