BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — Three Chinese astronauts aboard the manned spacecraft Shenzhou-14 returned safely to Earth on Sunday, having accomplished many “firsts” during their six-month mission to the space station. .
The return capsule from Shenzhou-14, carrying astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe, landed at the Dongfeng landing site in north China‘s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 8:09 p.m. Beijing time, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The astronauts were all in good physical condition, and the Shenzhou-14 manned mission was a complete success, the agency said.
They were carried out by workers on the ground and placed on chairs in front of the capsule. They seemed relaxed and waved to the ground crew.
“Welcome home,” people cheered the trio, as many raised their cameras to capture the historic moment.
“I am honored to witness the formation of the basic configuration of our space station,” said Chen, the mission commander, also the first Chinese astronaut to stay in orbit for more than 200 days. “I am proud of my country.”
Liu, China‘s first female astronaut, said she had an unforgettable memory in the space station and was happy to return to the motherland.
The return capsule separated from the Shenzhou-14 orbital capsule at 7:20 p.m. Sunday under the command of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Shortly after the return capsule landed, the ground search team arrived at the landing site. Medical personnel confirmed that the astronauts were in good health.
This is the first time that the Chinese manned spacecraft has returned to the Dongfeng landing site on a winter night. According to the agency, the “rapid return mode” used by Shenzhou-14 led to fewer circles around the orbit and shortened the return flight time.
The Chinese research team also developed many innovative technologies to help the crew of Shenzhou-14 overcome the challenges of low temperatures and dark night.
The three astronauts flew to the space station on June 5. They performed several tasks during their mission, including supervising five rendezvous and dockings, performing three extravehicular activities, presenting a live science lecture, and completing several science-technology projects. experiences.
They carried out inspections and tests of the space station platform, equipment maintenance, as well as materials and space station management. They also unlocked and installed science experiment cabinets in the Wentian and Mengtian laboratory modules.
Shenzhou-14 astronauts helped accomplish many “firsts” in China‘s space history, including including the first rendezvous and docking between two 20-ton spacecraft and the first transposition into orbit of a space station module.
They are the first crew to enter the two space station laboratory modules , and they set a record of three spacewalks in a single flight mission.
They also helped achieve the world’s fastest automated rendezvous and docking of the Tianzhou-5 cargo ship with the space station in approximately two hours.
The trio completed an orbital rotation with the crew of Shenzhou-15, a historic gathering that brought the space station’s orbiting complement to six for the first times.
Shenzho Astronauts u-15, which are responsible for concluding the final stage of space station construction and launching the first stage of its application and development, will check long-term residence on the Chinese space station in its three-module configuration, indicated the agency.