Chinese astronauts land on Earth after record flight

Shenzhou 13

The return capsule of the Shenzhou 13 manned spacecraft has landed safely. Photo: Ren Junchuan/XinHua/dpa

(Photo: dpa)

The capsule carrying astronaut Wang Yaping and her colleagues Zhai Zhigang and Yi Guangfu arrived on Saturday morning. The capsule with astronaut Wang Yaping and her colleagues Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu arrived in the Gobi Desert in the northwest of the country on Saturday morning (local time). The landing of the plane was broadcast live on Chinese state television. The return trip from the space station, which orbits about 400 kilometers above Earth, took just over nine hours.

The astronauts spent six months aboard the core module of the future Chinese space station. And so the Shenzhou 13 (Magic Ship) crew has been longer in space than other Chinese astronauts before them – nearly double the previous Chinese record last year.

During their stay in space, the astronauts made two spacewalks, conducted a whole series of experiments and prepared the further expansion of the space station known as Tiangong (Sky Palace). Wang Yaping was not only the first Chinese astronaut aboard the core module called “Tianhe” (Heavenly Harmony), but also the first Chinese woman to undertake a spacewalk.

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