Shenzhou-13 Astronauts to Make Return Preparations Next Week

The Shenzhou-13 astronauts aboard China’s space station will begin preparations for their return to earth next week, CMG reporter has learned on Thursday.

On October 16, 2021, three Chinese astronauts – Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping, and Ye Guangfu – boarded China’s space station core module Tianhe, hours after the Shenzhou XIII spaceship was successfully launched at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. 

The crew are scheduled to live and work aboard China’s Tianhe space station core module for six months, setting a new record for China’s own crewed space mission duration.

The trio completed two extravehicular activities, conducted two live lectures, and spent the Spring Festival aboard the space station.

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“We will launch two experimental modules, two manned spacecraft, two cargo spacecraft and send another six taikonauts to the Chinese space station this year,” Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s manned space program, said, noting that China will enter the construction phase of the space station project in May. Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 crewmembers will meet in orbit and spend about one week in space together during their rotation.