3rd Year Week 2 MT03

Topic: Chinese space programme

October 15, 2003

Yang Liwei, selected from 1000 hopefuls, during his training

China launches its first man in space

Translate the following passages into Chinese.

Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei became the first Chinese man in space after blasting off this morning from the Gobi Desert on board the Shenzhou 5 craft.

China became only the third country to achieve the feat, 42 years after Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet pilot.

Many aspects of the flight were shrouded in secrecy, but not the menu for his first meal.

"The astronaut will enjoy himself over a rich variety of Chinese food," a Chinese Government spokesman said shortly after lift-off.

"We planned the recipes in a scientific way, in such a way as to ensure that the food will be nutritious enough for space missions while tasting good."

His first meal consisted of bite-size nuggets of spicy shredded pork, diced chicken and fried rice cooked "with nuts, dates and other delicacies."

Colonel Liwei was born in China’s north-eastern Liaoning province in 1965.

He was chosen from 1,000 fighter-jet pilots, each of whom had logged at least 1,000 flying hours and flown at ultra-high altitudes.

The list of pilots was whittled down to 14 and then to three in a process similar to that immortalised in Tom Woolf’s book, The Right Stuff, about finding the US’s first astronaut.

Colonel Liwei’s flight has been hailed both home and abroad as evidence of China’s growing status as an economic and military superpower.

President Hu Jintao, who watched the blast-off at the Jiuquan Launch Center said it was for "the glory of our great motherland".

Jiang Zemin, the former president who started the 11-year Shenzhou program, said it was a "historic step of the Chinese people in the advance of climbing over the peak of the world’s science and technology."

The launch provoked national celebrations in China with special editions of the newspaper being published to mark the occasion. It also provoked some pride and envy in other Asian countries.

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan said that the launch "brings pride to China as to the Asian continent."

India also praised China’s efforts, but UR Rao, the former head of its space program, said that the Indian government lacked the political will to send a man into space.

"It is not that we lack the technological capability. If the government changes its view (on space programs) then a manned mission is very much possible. India has the scientific capability."