Three Chinese astronauts returned to earth on Saturday (April 16) after 183 days in space, state television reported, completing the country’s longest crewed space mission to date.
The astronauts landed nine hours after they left a key module of China’s first space station.
Following their launch in October, the astronauts – Zhai Zhigang, Ye Guangfu and a female crew member Wang Yaping – spent 183 days in space, completing the fifth of 11 missions needed to finish the space station by the end of the year.
On Tuesday (April 12), Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site and stressed for more efforts to build a world-class launch site during his inspection in south China’s Hainan Province.
He spoke highly of a series of key space missions launched from the site, including the launching of the space station core module Tianhe, the Chang’e-5 lunar mission, and the Tianwen-1 Mars probe.