China announced the success of its first manned space flight and the safe return of astronaut Yang Liwei Thursday morning.
Premier Wen Jiabao sent a message, on behalf of the central leadership, congratulating the success of the flight.
Jiang Zemin, chairman of the Central Military Commission, made a phone call to congratulate the success.
Shenzhou V landed at the preset primary landing area in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 06:23 (Beijing time), and China's first astronaut in orbit Yang Liwei walked out of the cabin. Yang has been confirmed to be in good health after a 21-hour space travel.
The spacecraft carrying the 38-year old lieutenant colonel lifted off at 09:00 Wednesday. Yang spent 21 hours in space traveling more than 600,000 km, as the 241st human being to visit outer space.
At 05:35, Shenzhou V began its return, ordered by the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center.
At 05:36, the re-entry module separated from the orbital module.
At 05:38, the retros were ignited to slowdown the re-entry.
At 05:59, the re-entry module jettisoned the propulsion module.
At 06:00, the re-entry module entered the territorial space of China.
At 06:04, the module was in the "black-out" zone, when it entered the atmosphere.
Yang reported he was in good conditions several times during the re-entry, while Premier Wen Jiabao called him to wish him a safe return.
At 06:07, rescue helicopters received signals from the re-entry module to identify the landing point.
At 06:23, the re-entry module landed at the preset site.
At 06:28, a team of rescuers reported they found the re-entry module 7.5 kilometers away.
At 06:36, the rescuers got to the module. Yang walked out and waved to the crowds.
(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2003)