Taikonaut Deng Qingming realizes dream of going to space after 25 years' preparation

Deng Qingming, one of the three Chinese astronauts set to carry out China's Shenzhou-15 crewed spacecraft mission, met the press on Monday. He will finally get the chance to go to space after 25 years of preparation. 

"Twenty-five years is a long journey. Many times, I missed the chance to enter space. Even though I felt disappointed, I never gave up," Deng said at the press conference.

"No matter how old I am, I am needed by the nation. I feel happy today," Deng added. 

In January 1998, Deng was selected as one of the first group of Chinese astronauts. He is the only one of the first batch of the Chinese astronauts who has never been to space, but is still ready for the mission. He was a backup crew member for both the Shenzhou-10 and Shenzhou-11 missions. Five of his peers retired in 2014 without a space flight. 

The Shenzhou-15 spaceship will be launched on Tuesday from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China.

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