Shenzhou-17 astronauts arrive in Beijing

A poster of the Shenzhou-17 crew (L-R) Tang Shengjie, Tang Hongbo and Jiang Xinlin. /CMG

A poster of the Shenzhou-17 crew (L-R) Tang Shengjie, Tang Hongbo and Jiang Xinlin. /CMG

The three-member Shenzhou-17 crew arrived in Beijing by plane early on Wednesday after a six-month mission to the country’s space station.

On Tuesday, Shenzhou-17’s return capsule, carrying astronauts Tang Hongbo, Tang Shengjie and Jiang Xinlin, touched down at the Dongfeng landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 5:46 p.m. Beijing Time, and the crew all left the return capsule by 6:37 p.m., according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The three astronauts, after staying in orbit for 187 days, are all in good health and the Shenzhou-17 manned mission was a success, the CMSA said.

Initial health checks showed that the three crew members are in good condition. “Every time I flew over the homeland, I looked for it,” Tang told China Media Group (CMG) right after he exited the capsule. “Thanks for everyone’s attention. I missed you so much.”

Tang set the record for the longest stay in space for an astronaut, totaling 279 days for his two trips to the China Space Station.

The crew will enter a period of medical quarantine and undergo comprehensive medical examinations and health evaluations. Afterwards, they will meet with the press in Beijing.

Read more: Shenzhou-17 spaceship successfully lands in N China with three-member crew

(With input from Xinhua)