Live: Shenzhou 10 returns to Earth
Editor’s note: China’s Shenzhou 10 spacecraft returned to Earth at about 8 a.m. on June 26 as scheduled. Stay tuned with China.org.cn for live coverage of the event.
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[9:59]That’s all for today’s live report. Thank you for staying with us.
[9:58]Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli is shaking hands with the Beijing control room staff.
[9:52]Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli extends his congratulations to the mission.
[9:51]The chief commander of the Shenzhou 10 project, Zhang Youxia, announces the mission has been a complete success.
[9:50]There is a very warm and enthusiastic atmosphere among the bystanders.
[9:49]Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou-10 space mission, first successfully came out of the spacecraft’s reentry module at around 9:30 (Beijing Time) Wednesday morning after a 15-day stay in low earth orbit. Upon his safe return, Nie also sets a record of stay in space for Chinese astronauts with more than 470 hours in two missions.
[9:48]Wang Yaping talks about her first, and the first-ever, space lecture.
[9:47]The astronauts expressed their gratitude to be able to accomplish their dreams.
[9:46]Nie Haisheng is the first one to talk to CCTV. Zhang Xiaoguang now follows suit.
[9:44]The astronauts receive flowers as a welcome home token. They are welcomed by locals wearing the tradtional Hada scarf.
[9:42]Zhang Xiaoguang is the final astronaut to leave the return capsule. He is now outside the capsule and being looked after by the medical staff.
[9:38]Medical staff can be seen looking after and talking to the astronauts.
[9:35]Wang Yaping is the second astronaut to emerge from the capsule.
[9:31]Nie Haisheng is the first astronaut to exit the capsule, assisted by medical staff.
[8:42]The preparation check list includes medical staff helping the astronauts speak again, cutting all equipment lines and helping the astronaunts re-adapt to the gravity environment inside the capsule.
[8:36]It will take medical staff 70 minutes to complete preparations for the astronauts’ exit.
[8:36]Locals from Siziwangqi are flocking to the landing area.
[8:30]The astronauts have just confirmed they are doing well.
[8:28]Medical staff are helping the astronauts adapt to the gravity environment.
[8:26]The medical workers currently inside the capsule. Liu Jianzhong has been working with the Shenzhou crew for ten years.
[8:23]From their landing to their actual exiting the capsule, it will take the astronauts some time.
[8:22]Medical staff is entering the capsule.
[8:21]The capsule door is opening. And this is the first time the three astronauts meet the ground staff.
[8:18]Ground staff are preparing to open the capsule door.
[8:17]Ground workers are sealing off the landing area.
[8:16]Ground workers are checking if the capsule is intact.
[8:13]Medical staff have arrived at the capsule.
[8:11]Rescue workers including medical staff are approaching the return capsule on the ground.
[8:10]The astronauts have received permission to cut the parachute. Helicopters are hovering above the landing spot.
[8:07]The astronauts have to go through an extensive check list before they can exit the return capsule.
[8:06]The return capsule has successully landed and received with applause from the control center.
[8:05]The cloudy weather will make it physically easier on the astronauts when they emerge from the return capsule.
[8:04]Due to the thick density of the clouds, it is not easy to track the return capsule with the naked eye.
[8:01]The astronauts are constantly communicating with the Beijing control center.
[8:00]The astronauts have just confirmed with the control center they are physically well.
[7:59]The landing spot is located in Inner Mongolia.
[7:58]The parachute is over 1,200 meters wide.
[7:56]The parachute guarantees the reutrn capsule approaches the ground at a constant speed of less than 10 meters per second.
[7:56]The return capsule is steadily approaching the landing spot.
[7:54]The return capsule is approaching the landing spot and has opened its parachute.
[7:52]Several helicopters, in coordination with the Beijing control center, are on their way to pick up the astronauts upon their return to Earth.
[7:50]Shortly before landing, the parachute of the return capsule will open.
[7:47]The return capsule enters the Black Out region.
[7:45]Shenzhou 10 is preparing to return to Earth.
[7:26]Xinhua reports that:
China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft will return to Earth at about 8:00 a.m. Wednesday as scheduled, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. According to the center, the main landing site for the spacecraft is set for north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Facilities at the landing site are operating well and are capable of performing search and recovery work after the landing. The weather is favorable for the return of the spacecraft. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli arrived at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center at around 7 a.m.. He will watch the live broadcast of the recovery of Shenzhou-10 there.
[7:18]Shenzhou-10 spacecraft enters the return orbit after the second attitude adjustment
[7:16]Shenzhou-10 spacecraft has completed the first attitude adjustment and flies sideways on the orbit. The orbiting capsule is separated from the return capsule.
Shenzhou 10 space mission: a timeline
June 10 Astronauts of the Shenzhou 10 mission, males Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang as well as female Wang Yaping, meet the press.
June 11 Shenzhou 10 spacecraft, atop a Long March-2F carrier rocket, blasts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 5:38 p.m., and enters its designated orbit.
June 12 Chinese astronauts on the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft greet the nation and the Chinese in the global for the Dragon Boat Festival.
June 13 The three astronauts — Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping — open the hatch of Tiangong 1 at 4:17 p.m., after the spacecraft completes an automated docking procedure with the orbiting Tiangong 1 at 1:18 p.m..
June 14 Chinese astronauts install new floor boards in the orbiting Tiangong 1 space module.
June 20 Female astronaut Wang Yaping, one of the three crew members of Shenzhou 10 spacecraft, gives a lecture to students on Earth aboard China’s space module Tiangong 1.
June 23 China’s Shenzhou 10 manned spacecraft successfully completes a manual docking procedure with the orbiting Tiangong 1 space module at 10:07 a.m..
June 24 President Xi Jinping talks with the astronauts who are conducting scientific tests in Tiangong 1 space lab module.
June 25 Shenzhou 10 spacecraft docks with the target module Tiangong 1 from behind after flying around the latter.
June 26 Shenzhou 10 returns to Earth.
Moments to remember
China.org.cn special coverage
About Shenzhou 10 crew
Nie Haisheng is of Han nationality and a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC).Nie, who holds a masters degree, was born in September 1964. He was recruited by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in June 1983 and joined the CPC in December 1986. Currently, he is a Major General and a Premium Astronaut of the PLA.Nie served as a navigation director of a PLA Air Force division and a first-class pilot of the Air Force with 1,480 flight hours. He was selected to become one of China’s first astronauts in January 1998. In October 2005, Nie Haisheng successfully carried out the Shenzhou-6 space mission. In April 2013, Nie was selected to be a prime crew member of the Shenzhou-10 space mission.
Wang Yaping, a former air force pilot, joins a crew of three on Shenzhou 10 on June 11, 2013 and becomes only the second woman astronaut in space after Liu Yang who was on board the Shenzhou 9 mission in 2012.
Wang was one of the two candidates to become China’s first female astronaut in space on the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft. But she lost to Liu Yang, the other candidate to be in the three-member crew.
Wang was born in Jan., 1980, in east China’s Shandong Province. She is the eldest of two daughters. In 1997, she enrolled at the Changchun Air Force Aviation College. Wang Yaping first took to the air in 1998 and subsequently racked up more than 800 flying hours during the next nine years. In 2001, now holding a bachelor’s degree in military science, Wang was assigned as a military air transport pilot in Wuhan. Since then, she has carried out many important tasks including military exercises, disaster relief operations following the Wenchuan Earthquake and rain cloud dispersal operations during the Beijing Olympics.
As one of the 7th batch of Chinese female pilots, Wang is trained to pilot four types of aircraft. Her husband is also a pilot.
Zhang Xiaoguang is a native of Jinzhou City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Born in May 1966, Zhang is of the Manchu ethnic group. Zhang joined the Chinese army in June 1985 and became a member of the Communist Party of China in August 1988. In January 1998, Zhang was trained as one of China’s first batch of astronauts and now is a member of the astronaut brigade of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). He now holds the rank of a senior colonel. Before he was trained as an astronaut, Zhang was a senior pilot and has a record of 1,000 hours of safe flying. He has passed a comprehensive tests for astronauts, which consisted of basic theories, endurance and space engineering. In April 2013, he was enlisted as a crew member of the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft mission.
What did they eat?
The three astronauts had zongzi, glutinous rice dumplings wrapped in reed or other plant leaves and tied with colored thread, and millet congee during the Dragon Boat festival.
Personalized food recipes was prepared to cater to the various tastes of the three astronauts.
The newly-added space food includes yogurt, fruit, millet congee and zongzi.
Plants they brought into space
Ginseng seeds: The Ginseng seeds cultivated by the key traditional Chinese medicine laboratory of the Macau University of Science and Technology, a major research university, will be cultivated after they are brought back from space.
Fujiantea: A tea science research instituted in the city of Wuyishan, FujianProvince, will put the famous local tea Dahongpao on Shenzhou 10 for space breeding.
Fruits and vegetables seeds: A total of 27 fruit and vegetable seeds bred in Heilongjiang Province are aboard Shenzhou 10; this batch of seeds includes four types of eggplants, six types of tomatoes, two types of cucumbers, nine types of watermelon and six types of muskmelons. The cargo weighs 103 grams.
About Tiangong 1
Tiangong 1 is an unmanned space module complex launched on September 29, 2011 by China as it builds the country’s first space station. It was docked with Shenzhou 10 spacecraft on June 13, 2013.
Three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou10 spacecraft re-entered the orbiting Tiangong 1 space module after successfully completing a manual docking procedure on June 23, 2013, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft had completed its automated docking with Tiangong 1 space station on June 18, 2012.
The name “Tiangong”, literarily translated as Heavenly Palace, symbolizes Chinese people’ centuries-long dream of exploring outer space. The name references Wu Cheng’en’s “Journey to the West,” one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature.
Functioning as a target spacecraft, Tiangong 1 is expected to become China’s first space laboratory when it connects to the above mentioned spaceships.
The target spacecraft is composed of two parts. One module is intended for space experiments while the other serves as a “resources module”, providing fuel for the regular orbits.
The Tiangong 1 was scheduled to lift off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia in early September 2011. However, its launch was delayed due to the country’s previous failure to send the SJ-11-04 satellite into space. The satellite’s carrier rocket CZ-2C is from the same family as the CZ-2F rocket which propels Tiangong-1 into orbit.
Despite the delays, a spokesman from the China Manned Space Engineering Project said the tests of Tiangong 1 and its CZ-2F carrier rocket continue to go smoothly.
During its two-year service, the 8.5-ton Tiangong 1 received several astronauts who would man the Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 crafts. According to space technologist Qi Faren, the docking technology is pivotal to the Tiangong Program/Project 921-2.
The Shenzhou 9 manned spacecraft was launched at 6:37 p.m. on June 16, 2012 Beijing Time (GMT+0800), sending three astronauts into space to dock with Tiangong 1. Its crew members are Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang.
On June 18, 2012 China’s manned Shenzhou 9 spacecraft completed its automated docking with Tiangong 1 space station.