After seeing off Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft, the astronauts in orbit are making preparations for the return of Shenzhou-13 spacecraft.
On October 16, 2021, astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu took the Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center to enter the core module Tianhe, becoming the second batch of astronauts to enter China Space Station. During the flight of over 160 days, the 3 astronauts successfully completed 2 tasks of extravehicular activities (EVAs) and 2 "Tiangong Class" and carried out a number of scientific experiments and technological demonstration projects with the support of ground scientific and technological personnel. Wang Yaping became the first female astronaut in China to carry out EVAs. For the first time, astronauts in orbit completed the docking between the cargo spacecraft and the space station by teleoperation. The flight crew set a new record for the continuous on-orbit flight duration of Chinese astronauts, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent construction of the space station.
During the Shenzhou-13 mission, Chinese astronauts celebrated the New Year and the Spring Festival in space for the first time. With the support of the ground scientific and technological personnel, the flight crew took part in the activity of "having a dialogue with Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao students", held the first Chinese painting exhibition in space, and carried out interactive exchanges with youngsters on ground and distinctive popular science education and cultural communication activities.
At present, the core module assembly of the space station is operating stably in orbit, and the crew is scheduled to return to the ground in mid-April.