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Chinese Astronaut Calls Family from Space

Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei told his family in a phone call from space he felt "very good" in space, which looks splendid, space officials said Wednesday.


"I'm feeling very good in space, and it looks extremely splendid around here," the 38 year-old astronaut told wife over the phone.


"I caught the sight of our beautiful home (the Earth) and recorded all what I've seen here," he told his "dear son" in the family chat which started at 7:58 p.m. (Beijing Time).


Yang blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center earlier Monday in the northwest province of Gansu, becoming the first Chinese sent to outer space.


The launch made China the third country in the world after the former Soviet Union and the United States to put man in space.


Yang, who is 1.68 meters high, was born to a teacher's family in Suizhong County in Liaoning Province, northeast China. His wife Zhang Yumei works for China Space City in the outskirts of Beijing. Their son is 8 years old.


Prior to this family chat, Yang talked with Cao Gangchuan, Chinese defense minister, expressing his determination to strive to complete his tasks well and ensure the full success of the mission.


(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2003)


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