The crew's reentry capsule, carrying Major General Fei Junlong, the mission's commander, and Senior Colonels Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, descended at the Dongfeng Landing Site, situated in northwestern China's Gobi Desert at 6:33 am. This marked the end of a nine-hour reentry trajectory from space.
On touchdown, recovery teams on the ground promptly opened the hatch and conducted an initial assessment of the astronauts' condition. They reported back to the control center in Beijing via radio, confirming their safe landing and overall good health.
Following preliminary checks, the recovery team assisted the astronauts out of the capsule, helping them onto chairs positioned in front of the capsule. Here, the astronauts shared their experiences and thoughts during a live program with a reporter from China Central Television.
Mission commander Fei Junlong, marking his second spaceflight, confirmed that all their tasks were completed successfully and the crew was in good condition. Deng Qingming, who represents the last of the first generation of Chinese astronauts to travel to space, expressed his joy upon returning to Earth and seeing familiar faces.
Deng conveyed his gratitude to all Chinese citizens for their continuous support and encouragement throughout their mission, and acknowledged the efforts of the space industry workers involved in the mission. His 25-year long journey to space stands as a testament to the perseverance and dedication of Chinese astronauts.
Similarly, Zhang Lu shared his personal experiences from the mission, revealing how he would often try to spot familiar landmarks while orbiting over China. Zhang expressed his eagerness to return to training and contribute to the 'New Era' as soon as his health permits.
Following the interview, the astronauts were transported to undergo thorough health checks. Subsequently, they are scheduled to be flown back to Beijing.
The Shenzhou XV team, the fourth group to be stationed at the Chinese station, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China on November 29. They met with the Shenzhou XIV crew the next day, marking the first time six Chinese individuals were in space concurrently and the first in-orbit handover between two Chinese crews.
By the time of their return, the crew had spent 186 days in orbit. Their successful mission included four spacewalks, the installation of essential equipment on the Tiangong, and conducting various scientific experiments and technology tests. They also effectively configured the Tiangong for the next crew, transferred scientific data back to Earth, and sorted materials between the station and their spaceship.
The Shenzhou XVI flight team, consisting of Major General Jing Haipeng, Colonel Zhu Yangzhu, and Professor Gui Haichao, the first Chinese civilian in space, have now taken over the responsibilities of running the Tiangong for the next five months, with their return planned for November.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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