Chinese astronauts return with first mission for space station construction accomplished
2021-09-18 10:41     Source : Xinhua

Three Chinese astronauts, the first sent to orbit for China's space station construction, have completed their three-month mission and returned to Earth safely on Friday.

The return capsule of the Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship, carrying astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, touched down at the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 1:34 p.m. (Beijing Time).

The first manned flight during the construction of China's space station was a complete success, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced.

The return capsule of Shenzhou-12 separated from the spaceship's orbiting capsule at 12:43 p.m. under the command of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. The braking engine of the return capsule then ignited, and the return capsule separated from the propelling capsule.

After the return capsule landed successfully, the ground search team arrived at the landing site. This is the first time that the Dongfeng landing site was used in the search and retrieval of the manned spacecraft. The medical personnel confirmed that the astronauts were in good health, after the hatch of the return capsule was opened.

The trio looked relaxed and waved to the ground crew after they exited the return capsule. Later, they were escorted to a helicopter by the ground crew, according to Xinhua reporters at the scene.

"Welcome back home for the Mid-Autumn Festival," the people cheered as the country's space heroes passed by.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional event symbolizing family reunion, falls on Sept. 21 this year.

The three astronauts arrived at Beijing by plane Friday night, but they will not go immediately back home to celebrate the festival with their families. Instead, they will undergo several weeks of quarantine for a comprehensive medical examination and health assessment, according to Xu Wenlong, a research assistant with the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.

The professional medical personnel will help the astronauts re-adapt to the gravity and environment on Earth, restore their body functions as soon as possible and improve their immunity, through multiple methods of exercise, diet, massage, physical therapy, and treatment with traditional Chinese medicine, Xu said.

Editor: 譚晶
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