Chinese astronauts in their latest landmark in Beijing’s drive to become the major space power have landed back on earth on Friday after completing the country’s longest-ever stay in space. 

The vessel carrying the three astronauts was suspended on a parachute and landed in the Gobi desert at 1:35 pm local time. 

The state broadcaster reported that The crew of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft had returned after the 90-day record duration and were in “good health”.

Huang Weifen said that the crew would undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can go home “because their immune systems may have weakened after the long mission.” 

An independent analyst, Chan Lu said, “The successful completion of the mission […] paves the way for future regular missions and utilization of the [Chinese space] station.”

The historic mission was led by Nie Haisheng, an airforce pilot in the People’s Liberation Army who had participated in two space missions before. The two other crew members were Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo who are in the military.

The Chinese space agency is planning a total of 11 launches before the end of next year which include three more crewed missions that will deliver two lab modules for the expansion of the 70-tonne station.

In order to catch up with the US and Russia, China has poured billions of dollars into its military-led space program in recent years.

Beijing’s space ambitions have been fuelled in part by a US ban on its astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), a collaboration among the US, Russia, Canada, Europe, and Japan.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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