作者： 王亚平Author: Wang Yaping | 载人航天小喇叭- Written on September 26, 2022 | 2022年9月26日
translated from Chinese to English from 王亞平 Wang Yaping’s article ..
In the early morning of Monday, September 26, 2022, there seemed to be a tacit understanding. When I looked up in Aerospace City, I saw a bright star streaking across the sky of Beijing outside the window. I couldn’t help but think: It’s that star, China’s “Tiangong” space station! The star I once resided at for 183 days! Now the comrades of the Shenzhou 14 crew are on it! After a few minutes, the star disappeared from my view. Suddenly I noticed that the corner of my mouth was slightly salty.
The same is true in the space station. Whenever the trajectory of the “Heavenly Palace” crosses the latitude and longitude of the motherland, through the small porthole in the sleeping area, you can see the bright lights passing through the city road, so clear, so dazzling, so beautiful, the motherland will There, Beijing is there, the Aerospace City is there, and my heart is always pounding at that moment: the sweet smile and tender expectations of the baby girl are also there…
Mother and daughter are connected. Missing is an invisible umbilical cord, one end is the star mother and the other is the star baby. You are not in my arms, but I have a small space station in my heart, which is my star baby.
Now, the mother who picked the stars is back from a business trip. Reunion is precious. After 183 days of separation, every bit of being with my daughter makes me feel so happy. On September 1st, like all parents, I solemnly sent my star baby into the school gate. You have finally become a first-year primary school student! On September 10th, I received an honour that made me feel very happy and feel a great sense of responsibility – “the most beautiful space teacher”. I had the chance to participate in and give lectures on my country’s first space class, the first Tiangong class on the space station, and children, and education. Forging an indissoluble bond, space and teaching, children and education, I feel that all happiness is integrated, forming another happy moment in life.
So, I went to the table, turned on the computer, wrote a paragraph, recorded and reminisced about the 183 days of a mother who picked stars…
☆★☆ Star Wish ☆★☆
When we set off, it was also autumn …
Gobi Desert, October autumn night, the wind is very cool. As the second expedition team during the construction period of China’s space station, the Shenzhou 13 crew is about to set off! The pressure suit in the cabin has no heating function. Maybe my heart is full of desire and excitement for flying again after the Shenzhou 10 mission, and my body actually feels warm! Every time a manned flight is stationed in the space station, the mission starts from the mission → the preparation for entering the cabin in the waiting section → take-off → orbiting → rapid rendezvous and docking → entering the Tianhe core cabin. It needs to last 15 hours. There are no large breaks and normal mealtimes in between. For every flight crew, it is the first important test of the mission! After I quickly imagined the mission operation and flight control process of the flight manual in series in my mind, suddenly, my heart was gently pulled by something, I knew it was you! My star baby—your childish words rang in my ears again before the expedition:
“Baby, mom is going on a business trip to space soon. What gift do you want?”
“Mom, mom, can you not go on business? I just want you to stay with me, I don’t want gifts, can you, mom!”
“Baby, the motherland is my mother. My mother now needs me to go to space, to fulfill the Chinese spaceflight dream, and to pick the brightest star that belongs to the Chinese.”
“Mom, mom, what if the baby misses mom?”
“Then you look up at the starry sky, maybe your mother is also watching you in space.”
“Without the baby by my side, what should my mother do if she misses the baby?”
“Baby, mother will take your photo with you. If you miss the baby, you can also look at our beautiful earth. Maybe the baby is also looking up at her mother?”
“Mom, mom, can you also pick a star for me, and the baby will wait for mother at home obediently.”
“Baby, of course, baby, let’s make an agreement, okay? You are responsible for taking care of your grandma and grandpa at home. Mom will help you pick a big star in the sky. Let’s pull the hook and hang it, and it will not change for a hundred years!”
“Hanging on the hook, it can’t be changed for a hundred years, Mom, you must remember it!”
For a moment, my heart is soft, as if time stood still…
At 21:38 on October 15, 2021, “Report, countdown – 2 hours and 45 minutes, the astronaut crew will set off, and the expedition ceremony begins!” A strong and firm password came from the dispatch! Commander Zhai Zhigang, I and Ye Guangfu looked at each other and set off!
We wore milky white cabin pressure suits, walked out of the south door one by one, walked to the scheduled reporting position, and stood in a row. “Comrade Commander-in-Chief, we are instructed to carry out the Shenzhou 13 manned space flight mission. We are ready, please give instructions!” “Go!” “Yes!” On the square, Commander Zhai Zhigang reported the password, sonorously powerful! The commander commanded the expedition, resolutely and decisively! From here, we embark on our journey.
At this time, the bright lights of the square illuminated our cabin pressure suit, reflecting the pulsating light, and the surrounding crowd was full of joy. I knew that there must be you in the crowd, my star baby! From the end of the report to the boarding of the car, I couldn’t wait to look around, I was looking for your figure, and finally I saw that little you in the farewell crowd, dressed in a pink cotton coat, braided with your favorite little braids , sitting on the shoulders of the little uncle, waving his two little hands vigorously, shouting with all his strength, “Mom, come on, mom!” The small request was drowned in the roar of voices. I was ready to go, and I could only wave my hand in your direction from a distance. At that moment, the tears of parting had already wet my eyes. My dear baby, my mother is about to be separated from you. It has never been half a year, maybe that long, and you don’t know how long it is, but as long as you remember that your mother went to space for the motherland, yes To fulfill your mother’s dream is also to fulfill the wish made to you. The moment I saw you, my heart was filled with infinite power. It was a fearless and courageous power for dreams. Did you hear that? Baby! The farewell crowd sang “Singing the Motherland” in unison, the song that you would sing when you were 3 years old: the five-star red flag flutters in the wind, how loud the victory song, sing our dear motherland, from now on to prosperity and prosperity… Xiao Xiao You may not yet understand the true meaning of the lyrics, but I think you must be proud of your mother’s career; you may not understand the mission and honor, but when you grow up, you will understand that for the dear motherland, mother can never turn back . Mom hopes that you can gradually understand the career that mom is engaged in related to the sea of stars, rather than being isolated from the sea of stars. Mom hopes that you can have a deeper understanding of your mother’s work and the aerospace industry. I hope you can follow your mother and the uncles and aunts who are in the same profession as your mother, and go forward to realize your dreams. This is why your mother agreed with you to come. The reason for going to the Gobi Desert. But mom didn’t dare to look at you too much, so she quickly looked away, opened her eyes hard, and tried her best not to let the tears flow. With a smile on his face and tears in his eyes, he looked at the see-off team who were shouting cheers, and quickly sorted out his mood. With a standard military salute, he said goodbye to his comrades in arms, his relatives, and his motherland. With earnest expectation, with the good wishes of Xingwa, with the belief that the mission will be achieved and I will win, we will arrive at the tower, board the ship, enter the cabin, prepare, ignite, and take off!
rise! overload! Suddenly, a small knitted rabbit the size of a palm floated up, “The ship and the arrow are separated!” The rocket entered the predetermined orbit, and we entered space! This little rabbit, I promised Xingwa, let it travel to space for Xingwa to accompany her mother. Before the launch, as soon as I entered the cabin, I hung this little rabbit on the bulkhead of the return capsule, and now, together with my mother, it started the journey of space flight.
At 9:58 on October 16, 2021, after the Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft and the space station combination we were driving successfully achieved autonomous and rapid rendezvous and docking, commander Zhai Zhigang opened the Tianhe core cabin door, and we entered smoothly. Tianhe core cabin! The flying journey of our Shenzhou 13 crew, China’s first 6-month long-term space exploration on the space station, has officially begun!
☆★☆ Kiss the star baby ☆★☆
Looking at the happy floating bunny, I couldn’t help laughing. The bunny is woven by your grandma and your aunt, your favorite. Baby said, seeing the bunny is like seeing you. Now I want to tell you that the task is arduous and the test is severe. The little rabbit has completed your task and has always been the pistachio of mother.
do you know? During the entire Xingyu exploration process, whether it is during the ascent period of the roar of the rocket, or during the experiment in the resident module; whether it is to directly experience the mysteries of space during the out-of-vehicle activities, and perform space exploration operations; or every night. , during the relatively quiet time in the sleeping area, my mother is thinking of you, my star baby! do you know? The residency mission is progressing smoothly, the outboard activities have been successfully completed, and during the entire journey of safe return after the mission is over, Tiandi Talk can hear you every day: I wish mother a safe and smooth life. These are some of the most cosy, romantic, sweet moments in Mom’s busy space life!
Fortunately, I can see the sunrise and sunset 16 times a day in space, which means that I can travel through time and space to see you on Earth 16 times a day. I’m on the space station, you’re on the other side of the earth. Outside of work, I can’t help but look at the earth with you through the porthole, and see the time on earth. At this time, you, maybe your grandma is riding an electric car to pick up you from school on your way home, maybe You are having fun with your friends at the playground, or maybe you are playing hide-and-seek with your grandfather at home… I wonder if at that moment you will be telepathic with your mother and look up at the sky?
Every day of life in space is very busy. The world and the earth are synchronized with the work and rest system. The daily work content is arranged to be full and intense, and you often have to work overtime! Every day, when I enter the sleeping area, a small space in the space station that belongs to you and me, I always think of you quietly…
There are also dreams, some people say that the dreams of astronauts are all space dreams. Yes, we are all people who dream of space for the motherland and mankind, but there is always you in my dreams. Countless nights, my mother dreamed that I could finally hold my little one. It was so real and warm. Even once in a dream, my mother thought that it was no longer a dream, and finally I could hold my baby for real. When I woke up, it was still a dream, and in an instant, tears blurred my eyes.
I always wonder if you will still expect your mother to come home suddenly when the night comes, and open the door that you have long been waiting for. Mom is also looking forward to what kind of little surprise you will give me next time. Grandma said, you are sensible, because you miss your mother, you always hide in the bed and cry by yourself; because you miss your mother so much, you draw a picture of your mother every day, and the mother in the painting always has you beside you; because I miss you so much, I would take the trouble to listen to “Only Mother Is Good in the World”, and one day, the never-old nursery rhyme would reverberate at home from morning to night.
From birth until you became a primary school student, grandma and grandpa have been taking care of you on behalf of your parents. Sometimes you will ask me aggrievedly, “Mom, why do other children always have their parents to accompany me, and why do I only have my grandma and grandpa?” Even so, Every time you go home, you will still happily help your mother with slippers, hug and hug; know that I will be back, no matter how late, always stubbornly insist on waiting for the mother to go back to sleep; no matter how hurriedly the mother leaves , don’t forget to give mom a little gift that she loves. Those little gifts that mom received were so many that they almost filled the room, just like your love for mom, warm and full.
Baby, Mommy thank you!
Because of you, my star baby, do you still remember the little flowers we folded together? During the space class, my mother made it bloom in the water polo. Across the screen, I saw your sweet smile, I didn’t know you had I didn’t find my mother’s tears of excitement rolling in my eyes; it was the first time I held a children’s painting exhibition in space, and I saw pictures of children from all over the country who were immature and imaginative, and the picture of the baby. Reminds me of the lovely you again…
My star baby, because of you, my life has more meaning. Perhaps because your mother is an astronaut, since you were born, you have been full of longing and curiosity about spaceflight. After the Shenzhou 13 mission, once you accidentally saw your mother dressed in Conquest on TV, you suddenly said to me, Mom, when I grow up, I also want to be an astronaut like my mother, and go to space for my mother to pick it up. Star! At that moment, I suddenly felt that all the hard work was worth it!
Before you went to primary school, you were always like a little adult, speaking the words of adults in the most immature tone. In fact, my mother has a little selfishness, and I really don’t want you to grow up so fast. The kindergarten teacher asked you to draw the primary school in your heart. You actually drew the school as a spaceship. How much your baby loves spaceflight! Well done, baby, although mom can’t be by your side all the time, I believe that mom will accompany you all the way until you realize your wish!
At 18:51 on November 7, 2021, “The extravehicular suits are in normal condition, with good air tightness, and the astronauts are in good condition. They can leave the cabin and open the cabin door!” Zhai Zhigang successfully opened the exit door of Tianhe core module node cabin. After about 6.5 hours of exit activities, at 1:16 on November 8, 2021, commander Zhai Zhigang and I, dressed in our new generation of “Flying” outside the cabin Space suit, with the cooperation of Ye Guangfu, the “feel good crew” successfully completed the mission of China’s fourth outboard activity! This is also the first time in the history of Chinese spaceflight that a female astronaut has participated in an out-vehicle activity. The extravehicular activity is a space exploration mission with high technical complexity, high technical difficulty, high physical strength requirements, and high operational ability requirements. Only 4 countries in the world have completed the exploration of female astronauts spacewalking! I also became the sixteenth in the world and the first female astronaut in Asia to complete a spacewalk! On the day of the expedition, I, who was ready for a new exploration, silently said to the star baby in my heart, “Baby, my mother is about to leave the cabin to pick stars for you. You are waiting for your mother on earth!” The day after you left the cabin, November 9 happened to be your 6th birthday. This was the first birthday in 6 years of your life without your mother by your side. Most of your birthday wishes in the past were your favorite toys. Wishing your mother a safe and smooth space in space has become your biggest wish for this year’s birthday. Mom couldn’t even give you a kiss, but she gave it to you as a birthday present. I don’t know if you are happy or not?
☆★☆ Reunion after 183 days ☆★☆
On April 16, 2022, Shenzhou 13 is about to return. I hung the little bunny doll you gave in the old place of the return cabin and said to it, “Baby, can you hear me?” Mom is coming back from picking stars!
At 9:00 a.m., “Spaceship return begins!” The Shenzhou 13 spacecraft, which adopts the rapid return strategy, completes the spacecraft return braking and starts in sequence → once the attitude adjustment is in place → the orbit return separation → the second attitude adjustment is in place → push back separation, and then return The capsule successfully entered the atmosphere, and then passed through the black barrier! When passing through the black barrier area, the intense friction made the cabin look like a red fireball. The temperature of the outer wall was as high as two or three thousand degrees Celsius. The sound of fire was endless, and I could still see the cracks outside the porthole. In these ten minutes, we lost contact with the ground, and our bodies were overloaded by several times the gravity. Looking back on the first time Shenzhou 10 returned, what I felt was fresh and exciting. This time, with you, my baby, I am more brave. I looked at the cute little bunny, it seemed to know my heart, smiled and swayed with me. After entering the atmosphere, opening the umbrella and landing, the thrilling level after level, its laughter always accompanies me.
At 9:56, “landing, landing, landing!” With the announcement of the voice unit in the cabin, our Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft return capsule successfully landed at the Dongfeng landing site, and it was in a stable upright state. Mom cut the umbrella! Half a year is neither long nor short, star baby, the mother who picked the stars is back!
At 17:05 on April 16, 2022, when the plane of our Shenzhou 13 astronaut crossed the Xishan Mountain in Beijing and arrived at Xijiao Airport safely in the twilight, the second me who was lifted off the plane’s gangway, I finally saw you who I was thinking about all the time. In the welcome line on the tarmac, you are holding flowers, wearing a little red dress, and waving! The moment you approached me, I couldn’t wait to hug you and the flowers in your hand tightly, I couldn’t hold them enough. With a smile on my face and tears in my eyes, I solemnly put a “star” brought from space into your palm. Dear baby, the mother who picked the stars is back, and my mother has fulfilled her promise to you and her motherland.
Dear Xingwa, although this mission is over, my mother does not dare to promise you daily company in the future. My mother cannot bear to deceive you with “lies”, you know? There are many uncles and aunts like mothers who have been constantly striving to realize the Chinese dream of spaceflight. After a little rest, my mother will re-engage in new tasks. You who have become elementary school students, shall we go together this time? are you ready? Otherwise, let’s make another agreement. I will go to space to pick bigger and brighter stars. You make bright little stars in school. – This is also my star wish.
Baby, do you still remember that year’s “The Most Beautiful Astronaut” party? The song “Listen to Me Say Thank You” that you sang with your mother, I have always wanted to say to you, baby, thank you, thank you for having you!
As an astronaut, as a mother, because of you, when running to the distant space and exploring the mysteries of the stars, I don’t feel lonely at all. You, who are by my side, touch me every day and surprise me every day.
Baby, on the road of life in the future, may you and all the little babies have a bright moon in your heart, you can pick the stars in your hands, be happy forever, and be happy forever!
After writing this text, in the morning light that is gradually whitening in the east, the stars in the sky gradually disappear, and the autumn fragrance fills the house by the aerospace lake outside the window. A reminder pops up quietly, and a new day begins…
September 26, 2022
作者： 王亚平Author: Wang Yaping | 载人航天小喇叭
Images and visuals are from their respectives- CNSA –China National Space Administration respectives 载人航天小喇叭