Sunday, 17 October, 2021
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Chinese astronauts complete 3-month space mission

Three Chinese astronauts have completed the country’s longest crewed mission and started their journey home on Thursday after 90 days at the Tiangong space station conducting spacewalks and scientific experiments, reports AFP.

“The Shenzhou-12 manned spacecraft has successfully separated from the space station’s core module,” state broadcaster CCTV said Thursday. The mission was part of China’s heavily promoted space programme, which has already seen the nation land a rover on Mars and send probes to the moon. The craft carrying the three taikonauts is expected to return to earth on Friday, state-run China Aerospace news reported.

The launch of Beijing’s first crewed mission in nearly five years coincided with the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party on July 1, and was the highlight of a massive propaganda campaign.

Tiangong, meaning “heavenly palace”, is expected to last at least 10 years.

The core module of the space station, where the astronauts lived, has separate living spaces for each astronaut, a “space treadmill” and an exercise bike, as well as a communication centre for emails and video calls with ground control, China’s space administration said.