Shenzhou-11 crew onboard the Tiangong-2 space lab. Credit: CCTV-Plus

Shenzhou-11 crew onboard the Tiangong-2 space lab.
Credit: CCTV-Plus

China’s two-person space crew is preparing for a return to Earth, drawing to a close a month-long stint onboard their Tiangong-2 space lab.

According to GBTimes, airspace restriction indicates that the Shenzhou-11 return capsule is expected to land Friday, November 18 between 05:33 – 06:13 universal time (00:33 – 01:13 EST / 13:33 – 14:13 Beijing time).

Shenzhou-11 crew consists of two male astronauts, veteran space traveler, Jing Haipeng (left) and newcomer to space, Chen Dong. Crew photos: ChinaSpaceflight‏.com

Shenzhou-11 crew consists of two male astronauts, veteran space traveler, Jing Haipeng (left) and newcomer to space, Chen Dong.
Crew photos: ChinaSpaceflight‏.com

 

National record

Shenzhou-11 mission astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong are reportedly in good health as their national record month-long stay onboard Tiangong-2 nears a successful conclusion.

Launched on October 17, the Shenzhou-11 crew will have remained in space for 33 days.

The mission of Shenzhou-11 is a key to improve space station building techniques. Credit: CCTV

The mission of Shenzhou-11 is a key to improve space station building techniques.
Credit: CCTV

Projected touchdown site

Meanwhile, ground teams in China have wrapped up the last comprehensive search and rescue exercise prior to Shenzhou-11’s projected touchdown in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

In a CCTV-Plus interview with Li Quan, commander, major landing site system, Li said that “the entire exercise was designed according to actual-combat situation. All the participating units cooperated closely during the exercise.”

 

 

Search and rescue exercise

The search and rescue, Li added, “turned to be prompt and accurate, and the astronauts and the return capsule were handled in a scientific and reasonable manner. We can say after this exercise, the various systems of the major landing site have been proved to be capable of accomplishing the mission.”

The ground team carried out other exercise duties, CCTV-Plus reports, including extracting the astronauts from their capsule, medical monitoring and support, as well as on-site disposal of the return capsule and escorting the astronauts.

To view a video of pre-landing preparations, go to:

http://l3-pv.news.cctvplus.com/2016/1116/8036691_Preview_1479300626345.mp4

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