Chinese astronauts return to Earth after six months in space | Space News

The three-man crew was in space for 183 days, the longest mission ever by Chinese astronauts.

State broadcaster CCTV said three Chinese astronauts landed in northern China on Saturday after 183 days in space, ending the country’s longest crewed mission to date.

Two men and one woman – Zhai Zhigang, Ye Guangfu and Wang Yaping – landed safely in a small capsule just before 10 a.m. Beijing time (02:00 GMT) after spending six months on tissue -Tianhe core module of China’s Tiangong space station.

“Shenzhou 13’s re-entry compartment has successfully landed,” state broadcaster CCTV said.

Banned by the United States from participating in the International Space Station (ISS), China has spent the past 10 years developing technology to build Tiangong, the only space station other than the ISS.

The country aims to become a main space power by 2030 and on par with the US and Russia. It landed a rover on Mars and sent probes to the Moon, and the country’s National Space Administration says it aims to launch a crewed mission to the Moon by year 2029.

Live CCTV footage showed the capsule landing in a cloud of dust, with ground crews who had failed to observe the landing site rushing helicopters to approach it.

There was a round of applause when the astronauts took turns reporting that they “felt good”.

The Shenzhou-13 is the second of four crews to assemble Tiangong, which means “heavenly palace”.

Wang became First Chinese woman to walk in space Last November, when she and her colleague Zhai installed the space station equipment in a period of six hours.

Mission commander Zhai, 55, is a former fighter pilot who conducted China’s first spacewalk in 2008, while Ye was a People’s Liberation Army pilot.

The trio completed two spacewalks, performed numerous science experiments, set up equipment, and tested technology for future construction during their time in orbit.

The upcoming Shenzhou-14 is expected to be launched in the coming months.

According to state broadcaster CCTV, the astronauts will spend six months on the Chinese space station on future missions.

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