After 183 days in space, three Chinese astronauts have returned to Earth.

Chinese astronauts
Chinese astronauts

Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Saturday following a six-month mission, the longest in China’s space programme.

The Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship returned capsule with astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping, and Ye Guangfu on Saturday morning in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The trip back took nine hours. The three astronauts are in good health, according to Xinhua. In recent years, China has made significant progress in catching up with the United States and Russia in terms of space achievements.

China intends to finish its space station this year and deploy humans to the Moon. On Saturday morning, the three astronauts were photographed smiling and waving as they were carried out of the return capsule. Zhai, Wang, China’s first female astronaut, and Ye spent 183 days in space, the longest stay by Chinese astronauts on a single mission.

On October 16, 2021, they entered the Tianhe core module of the space station onboard the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft. In the last few months, they have completed two extra-vehicular activities, two live science lectures, and numerous sci-tech experiments and application projects.

Also tested and verified were in-orbit transposition of spacecraft and robotic arm handling of heavy payload. The return of Wang was reported as saying “I want to tell my daughter mom reached for the stars.”

The crew made two spacewalks. Wang made his first spacewalk on November 7, 2021. China has conducted seven crewed missions since 2003.

This year will see over 40 launches. The year’s launches featured two Shenzhou crew flights, two Tianzhou cargo missions, and two new modules for the International Space Station. Other ISS missions include in-orbit rendezvous and docking, extravehicular activities, and spacecraft return, according to the CASC.

Chinese spacecraft have recently returned rock and soil samples from the moon’s surface to Earth and landed a six-wheeled rover on Mars.

Written by Andrew Jones

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