Fri, 01 Dec 2023

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JIUQUAN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese astronauts on board the Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship returned to Earth safely on Sunday, after completing their six-month space station mission.

Shenzhou-15's return capsule, carrying astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, touched down at the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 6:33 a.m. (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The astronauts were in good shape, and the Shenzhou-15 manned mission was a success, the agency announced.

The astronauts were carried out by ground workers and placed on chairs in front of the capsule.

"We have completed all the scheduled tasks and felt good after returning to the motherland," said Fei, the mission commander, who had also participated in the country's second crewed space mission, Shenzhou-6, in October 2005.

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Deng, who finally got the chance to fly to space after 25 years of preparation, said that he is grateful for the support and encouragement of the people of the whole country.

"I always believe in the power of dreams and persistence. No matter how old I am, I feel so happy to be needed by the nation," he added.

"I'm now very excited, and when I was on the space station, I often watched through the window, trying to find my motherland and hometown," said Zhang, one of China's second batch of astronauts.

"We will adjust our bodies as soon as possible, go back into training, and be ready for space missions in the future," Zhang added.

© Provided by Xinhua

The return capsule separated from Shenzhou-15's orbiting capsule at 5:42 a.m. as per the flight procedure.

Soon after the return capsule landed, the ground search team arrived at the landing site. Medical personnel confirmed that the astronauts were in good health.

China launched the manned spaceship Shenzhou-15 on Nov. 29, 2022. The Shenzhou-15 crew, China's oldest mission crew in terms of average age, successfully completed four extravehicular activities (EVAs), becoming the crew to accomplish the most EVAs of all Chinese crews to date.

The crew witnessed the completion of the country's space station construction.

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