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Shenzhou XVII crew returns to Earth

By ZHAO LEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-30 19:21

Astronaut Tang Hongbo is out of the return capsule of Shenzhou XVII spacecraft's reentry capsule at the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, April 30, 2024. [Photo by Wang Jiangbo/chinadaily.com.cn]

The Shenzhou XVII mission crew returned to Earth on Tuesday afternoon, concluding a six-month mission onboard the Tiangong space station.

The Shenzhou XVII spacecraft's reentry capsule, carrying the three astronauts—mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo, Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie and Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin—touched down at 5:46 pm at the Dongfeng Landing Site in the middle of the Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region after flying nine hours on the return journey.

Following safety checks outside the capsule, ground recovery personnel from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center opened the hatch of the bell-shaped vehicle and conducted a preliminary examination of the astronauts' condition.

Sitting inside the capsule, Tang Hongbo told ground controllers in Beijing via radio that his team had landed and they were "feeling good".

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