Shenzhou Starts Journey Towards Earth

IAS Prelims 2023

China’s manned spaceflight Shenzhou-11 began its return to the Earth after separating from the Tiangong-2 space laboratory.

Jing and Chen departed aboard the Shenzhou-11 from the launch pad in Jiuquan in the Gobi desert on October 17 and docked at the space lab two days later.

Since then the astronauts have been working and living in the Tiangong-2 that was launched in September, and where they conducted several scientific experiments and advanced preparations for the operation of a future Chinese space station, which is expected to be fully operational by 2022.

The Tiangong-2 will remain in its orbit, some 393 km from the Earth’s surface, until it docks with the Tianzhou-1, scheduled to be launched in April 2017.