“Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou-10 mission crew and a second-time space traveler, was honoured with a second-class aerospace achievement medal. While, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, the only female astronaut of the mission, were conferred on the third-class medals and the honorary title of heroic astronaut respectively," state run news agency reported.

The three astronauts were sent into space aboard Shenzhou-10 on June 11 and returned to Earth on June 26. In its 15-day journey in space, Shenzhou-10 docked with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1 twice, once through automatic operation and the other manually.

The astronauts spent 12 days in Tiangong-1, where they conducted space-specific medical experiments, technical tests and delivered a lecture to students on Earth about basic physics principles.

"The complete success of the Shenzhou-10 manned space mission has consolidated China's space docking technology, marking significant progress in the second step of China's manned space program," the statement said.

China is the third country after the US and Russia to acquire the technologies and skills necessary for space rendezvous and docking procedures, as well as supply manpower and materials for an orbiting module via different docking methods, the report said.

Since its first manned space mission in 2003, China has sent 10 astronauts and six spacecraft into space.


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