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Shenzhou XVII astronauts safely back from Tiangong space station
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Shenzhou XVII astronauts safely back from Tiangong space station
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) May 01, 2024

The crew of Shenzhou XVII has successfully returned to Earth after a six-month tenure aboard the Tiangong space station, marking the conclusion of their extensive orbital mission.

The crew's spacecraft, Shenzhou XVII, landed its reentry capsule in the Gobi Desert at the Dongfeng Landing Site in Inner Mongolia at precisely 5:46 pm following a nine-hour return journey.

Upon landing, the capsule underwent immediate safety checks by Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center personnel who then opened the capsule to assess the astronauts' health.

Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo, the mission commander, confirmed their safe return and good health over a radio transmission to Beijing. He, along with his fellow astronauts Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie and Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin, was then transported to a medical facility for further evaluations.

Their departure from Tiangong occurred at 8:43 am earlier that day, beginning with the atmospheric reentry processes after transitioning responsibilities and materials to the incoming Shenzhou XVIII crew.

This mission marks Tang Hongbo's second spaceflight, cumulatively spending 279 days in space, a record for a Chinese astronaut. His first mission was the three-month-long Shenzhou XII mission in June 2021, during which he first inhabited the space station for 92 days and four hours.

Throughout their latest mission, the crew successfully conducted 84 scientific experiments in various disciplines such as life sciences, space medicine, and material science. These experiments yielded over 200 samples, scheduled for return to Earth.

The astronauts also completed two spacewalks, including a pioneering extravehicular repair of the Tiangong station.

The Tiangong will continue to be occupied over the next six months by the Shenzhou XVIII crew, led by Senior Colonel Ye Guangfu.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

Related Links
China Manned Space Agency
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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Shenzhou XVIII crew takes command at Tiangong space station
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Apr 30, 2024
China's Shenzhou XVIII mission crew members have successfully completed the in-orbit handover with the outgoing Shenzhou XVII team, China Manned Space Agency confirmed. During a formal ceremony, the crew of Shenzhou XVIII, consisting of Ye Guangfu, Li Cong, and Li Guangsu, received the keys to the Tiangong space station from their predecessors. This event marks a key phase in the continuous operation of the station, ensuring the safe transfer of responsibilities and operational control. The ... read more

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