(ECNS) -- The reentry capsule of the Shenzhou XVI manned spacecraft landed at 8:11 a.m. Beijing Time on Tuesday morning at the Dongfeng Landing Site in Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, successfully concluding a five-month mission, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office.
Following safety checks outside the capsule, ground recovery personnel opened the hatch of the bell-shaped vehicle and conducted a preliminary examination of the condition of the three astronauts--mission commander Major General Jing Haipeng, Colonel Zhu Yangzhu and Professor Gui Haichao.
The Shenzhou XVI manned spacecraft was launched into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on May 30, 2023. Subsequently, it docked with the Tianhe core module to form a combined unit.
The three astronauts stayed in orbit for 154 days. During this period, they conducted one extravehicular activity and delivered a space lecture from the Chinese space station. They also cooperated in completing multiple extravehicular tasks for transporting goods, laying the foundation for the normalization of space station missions.
Under close collaboration between the astronauts and ground researchers, a variety of space scientific experiments were conducted in human factors engineering, space medicine, life ecology, biotechnology, materials science, fluid physics, and space technology. These experiments have led to significant advancements in space life science, human body research, microgravity physics, and emerging space technologies, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office.
In the next six months, the Tiangong station will be manned by the Shenzhou XVII trio — mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo, Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie and Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin — who arrived at the colossal flying outpost on Thursday evening.