Yang Liwei felt everything vibrating violently. Experiencing acceleration of gravity at 8G, he thought his body was about to be torn apart. He couldn't move. He couldn't see.
"I thought I'd die in that 26 seconds," China's first taikonaut Yang told Xinhua, revealing details of the country's first manned space mission, Shenzhou-5, in 2003.
Yang, 53, said that low frequency resonance occurred when the rocket climbed to around 30 to 40 kilometers above the ground. Vibration in the spacecraft below 10 Hz can damage human's internal organs, threatening a taikonaut's life.
"I thought I was going to die," Yang said.
"Hold on! Just hold on for a bit longer," the only person on board told himself.
The deep vibrations lasted for 26 seconds. When it was finally over, the then 38-year-old taikonaut felt like he had been reborn.
...the problem was soon solved over the following missions, and Chen Dong, crew member of the Shenzhou-11 mission in 2016, told Xinhua that his flight was so smooth it reminded him of a high-speed train.