Chinese Astronauts Land in Inner Mongolia –Completes 1st Stage Tiangong-2 Mission for Its International Space Station Packed with Scientific Data

 

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Following a month-long mission, two Chinese astronauts returned to Earth, completing the country’s longest mission yet. The crew departed the Tiangong-2 space station on Thursday and touched down under parachute a day later in a remote region of inner Mongolia. The two-man Shenzhou-11 mission was the sixth Chinese human spaceflight since the Yang Liwei launched on a one-day voyage around the Earth in 2005. It marked China’s longest space mission to-date, nearly doubling their previous time.


The duo completed a myriad of experiments and tested out the systems that will be used on a future full-size space station, which the Chinese expect to launch the first module as soon as 2018.

The space craft returned with a trove of science data from the research experiments the crew performed while on orbit, including samples of urine and saliva, which will provide medical researchers with valuable data on how the human body responds to microgravity.

 

 

The two astronauts also grew crops, much like NASA’s Veggie experiments, and they are returning with a batch of silkworm cocoons which were spun in space. This is part of a student-designed experiment that will compare how the cocoons spun in space compare to those spun here on the Earth.

After the first, central module launches, China expects to send astronauts with the final components of the station planned to be in orbit by 2022. The station will resemble the International Space Station and will include science labs, as well as docking ports to receive both cargo and crew.

The Daily Galaxy via China Xinhua News

 

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