Chinese astronauts return to Earth with fruitful experimental results

* Three Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft returned safely on Sunday after a six-month mission on the space station.

* The crew has successfully completed four extravehicular activities (EVA).

* The crew lived and worked in the space station complex for 186 days.

by Xinhua writers Shen Feng, Zhang Dan and Quan Xiaoshu

(XINHUA) – JIUQUAN, June 4 – Three Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft returned safely to Earth on Sunday after completing their six-month mission on the space station.

The return capsule of Shenzhou-15, carrying astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, landed at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 6:33 am (Beijing time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). ).

The return capsule of the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft lands safely at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region June 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Lian Zhen)

The astronauts were in good shape and the Shenzhou-15 manned mission was a success, the agency announced.

The astronauts were carried by ground personnel and placed in chairs in front of the capsule.

Astronaut Fei Junlong stands outside the return capsule of the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 4, 2023. (Xinhua/He Shuchen)

“We completed all scheduled tasks and felt good after returning home,” said Fei, the mission commander, who also participated in the country’s second manned space mission, Shenzhou-6, in October 2005.

Deng, who finally got a chance to fly into space after 25 years of preparation, said he was grateful for the support and encouragement from people across the country.

Astronaut Deng Qingming stands outside the return capsule of the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Zhipeng)

“I always believe in the power of dreams and persistence. No matter how old I am, I feel so happy that I am needed by the nation,” he added.

“Now I am very excited, and when I was on the space station, I often looked through the window, trying to find my homeland and hometown,” said Zhang, one of the second group of Chinese astronauts.

Astronaut Zhang Lu stands outside the return capsule of the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Zhipeng)

“We will adapt our bodies as soon as possible, get back to training and be ready for space missions in the future,” added Zhang.

The return capsule separated from the Shenzhou-15 orbiter at 5:42 am according to flight procedure.

Soon after the return pod landed, the ground search team arrived at the landing site. Medical personnel confirmed that the astronauts were in good health.

China launched the Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft on Nov. 29, 2022. The Shenzhou-15 crew, China’s oldest mission crew in terms of average age, successfully completed four extravehicular activities (EVAs) , becoming the crew to make the most EVAs of all Chinese crews to date.

This screen image captured at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on April 15, 2023 shows Shenzhou-15 taikonaut Zhang Lu waving after performing extravehicular activities outside the Wentian laboratory module. (Xinhua/GuoZhongzheng)

The crew lived and worked in the space station complex for 186 days and conducted a series of experiments that yielded fruitful results.

The crew successfully obtained three-dimensional structural images of their skin cells with the country’s self-developed two-photon microscope.

This achievement, the first of its kind in the world, marked the success of two-photon microscope in-orbit verification experiments, providing a promising tool for future health monitoring of astronauts in orbit.

China also successfully performed the first in-orbit firing test in the Mengtian space laboratory module’s combustion cabinet during the Shenzhou-15 mission.

The test verified the functions of the space station’s combustion science experimental system and the accuracy and scientificity of the entire experimental process.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that the operation of the country’s Stirling thermoelectric converter has achieved its verification in orbit. The heat-to-electricity converter has exhibited internationally advanced conversion efficiency during its regular operation, according to the CMSA.

China also completed in-orbit experiments on liquid metal thermal management on its space station for the first time during the Shenzhou-15 mission.

These experiments tested a number of key technologies involving bismuth metal under microgravity conditions, such as controlled melting, expansion and convective heat transfer.

As of May 29, they had conducted eight human factors engineering research, 28 space medicine experiments, and 38 space science experiments covering life ecology, materials science, and fluid mechanics, and obtained valuable experimental data. .

The crew also moved the cargo outboard several times and installed several items of equipment, including extra-vehicular extended pump sets, cross-module cables, and extra-vehicular payload platform support fixtures, laying the groundwork for the execution. of subsequent large-scale science and technology experiments outside the space station, according to the CMSA.

The crew watched the construction of the country’s space station complete. Final article

(Video reporters: Li Guoli, Li Yun, Dong Bohan, Hao Xiaojiang, Yang Zhigang, Zou Jianpu, Ye Ziyan, Zhang Sheng, Huang Yichen, Guo Mingzhi, Wang Hui, Guo Zhongzheng; video editors: Hong Lin, Li Qin, Yin Le, Jia Xiaotong)

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