Shenzhou 13 undocks and returns to Earth

by | Apr 19, 2022 | China, space station

At 1655 GMT on 15 April, the Chinese astronaut-carrying Shenzhou 13 spacecraft undocked from the nadir (or Earth-facing) port of the Chinese Space Station (CSS/Tianhe 1) with Commander Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu onboard. The 182-day mission was the longest-ever spaceflight by a Chinese crew. During their six-month mission the crew performed experiments, two spacewalks and prepared the space station for future expansion.

Shenzhou 13 undocks from the Chinese Space Station – Courtesy CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration)

On 16 April 2022 Shenzhou 13 jettisoned its orbital module at 0107 GMT. The Decent module then began its de-orbit burn at 0109 GMT with the propulsion module separating from the craft at approximately 0131 GMT. With the chute successfully deployed, Shenzhou 13 landed at the Dongfeng landing site in the Inner Mongolia region of northwestern China as planned.

Shenzhou 13 taikonauts return to Earth. Courtesy of CGTN (China Global Television Network)

China plans to launch Tianzhou-4 the resupply freighter in May, followed by the crewed Shenzhou 14 in June 2022.

 

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