Chinese astronauts land after 6 months on space station

Apr 15, 2022, 7:03 PM | Updated: Apr 16, 2022, 8:51 am

BEIJING (AP) — Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Saturday after six months aboard their country’s newest orbital station in the longest crewed mission to date for China’s ambitious space program.

The Shenzhou 13 space capsule landed in the Gobi desert in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, shown live on state TV.

During the mission, astronaut Wang Yaping carried out the first spacewalk by a Chinese woman. Wang and crewmates Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu beamed back physics lessons for high school students.

China launched its first astronaut into space in 2003 and landed robot rovers on the moon in 2013 and on Mars last year. Officials have discussed a possible crewed mission to the moon.

On Saturday, state TV showed images from inside the capsule as it traveled at 200 meters per second over Africa before entering the atmosphere.

The trio were the second crew aboard Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace. Its core module, Tianhe, was launched in April 2021. Plans call for completing construction this year by adding two more modules.

Authorities have yet to announce a date for launching the next Tiangong crew.

China is excluded from the International Space Station due to U.S. unease that its space program is run by the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army.

China was the third nation to launch an astronaut into space on its own after the former Soviet Union and the United States. Tiangong is China’s third space station following predecessors launched in 2011 and 2016.

The government announced in 2020 that China’s first reusable spacecraft had landed following a test flight but no photos or details of the vehicle have been released.

On Tuesday, President Xi Jinping visited the launch site in Wenchang on the southern island of Hainan from which the Tianhe module was fired into orbit.

“Persist in pursuing the frontiers of world aerospace development and the major strategic needs of national aerospace,” Xi told staff at the site, all of them in military uniform.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Illegal minors search for gold in the Ireng River on the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous rese...
Associated Press

Little talk of rainforest protection in the Brazilian Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — In the Brazilian Amazon these days, it’s nearly impossible to run for office talking up the environment. More common is a scene like this: A candidate for Congress parades a helicopter — the symbol of illegal gold mining — painted with the Brazilian flag, through the streets of the Amazon […]
6 hours ago
The NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard leaves the Vehicle Assembly Building movin...
Associated Press

NASA’s moon rocket moved to launch pad for 1st test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s new moon rocket arrived at the launch pad Wednesday ahead of its debut flight in less than two weeks. The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket emerged from its mammoth hangar late Tuesday night, drawing crowds of Kennedy Space Center workers. It took nearly 10 hours for the rocket to make the […]
6 hours ago
FILE - This combination of photos shows logos for social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Soci...
Associated Press

U.S. midterms bring few changes from social media companies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media companies are offering few specifics as they share their plans for safeguarding the U.S. midterm elections. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are generally staying the course from the 2020 voting season, which was marred by conspiracies and culminated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Video app […]
6 hours ago
FILE - Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on May 2, ...
Associated Press

Musk tweet joking about buying Manchester United causes stir

LONDON (AP) — Elon Musk caused a stir by tweeting that he was buying the English soccer team Manchester United — whose current owners are opposed by many fans — then saying several hours later that it was a joke. It comes as the billionaire Tesla CEO faces a legal battle in the U.S. after […]
6 hours ago
This photo provided by Hyundai shows the 2022 Genesis GV70, the company's first compact luxury SUV....
Associated Press

Edmunds compares: 2022 Genesis GV70 vs. 2022 Acura RDX

The Genesis brand, a luxury spinoff of Hyundai, is a newcomer, having come into its own in late 2016. But it’s been steadily building out its portfolio of vehicles since, and one of the latest is the GV70, its first compact luxury SUV. The GV70 faces off against many more established rivals, one of which […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Tips to take the sting out of 50% higher car rental prices

When making your travel budget, don’t assume that lodging and airfare will be your biggest expense. Now, more than ever, rental cars are shaping up to be one of the biggest — and stubbornly high — aspects of people’s vacation budgets. While airfare and lodging prices are certainly near all-time highs, rental cars are among […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Chinese astronauts land after 6 months on space station