Two Chinese taikonauts return home safely after 30-day stay in orbit

by | Nov 18, 2016 | China, Personal spaceflight, space station | 0 comments

The Shenzhou 11 Descent Module landed in the Inner Mongolia territory, in Northern China, at 0559 GMT on 18 November. The two taikonauts inside, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, were found to be in good health having already opened the pods main hatch.

The taikonauts set a new national record for time spent in orbit, 32 days.

The Chinese grand plan will see the next mission to Tiangong-2, in April 2017, in the form of Tianzhou-1, an indigenously developed resupply freighter, which will autonomously deliver fuel to the space station. The end-goal of these missions is the Chinese Space Station (CSS), a rival to the International Space Station, which China expects to have completed by 2022.

Comment by Matthew Wilson: A further manned mission to Tiangong-2, Shenzhou 12, was believed to be planned for late-2017, however a lack of any mention of this mission on the Chinese side may suggest that this has been quietly delayed or cancelled.

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