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Final rehearsal held for return of China's Shenzhou-17 crew from space

By Zheng Yibing

 , Updated 17:27, 27-Apr-2024

China's Shenzhou-17 spacecraft, with three crew members on board, is due to return to Earth on Tuesday. Search and rescue teams took part in the final rehearsal on Friday for Shenzhou-17's return to the Dongfeng landing site in the Gobi Desert, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

All systems at the site coordinated closely to conduct the landing drill. Preparing for the spacecraft's return were more than 10 search and rescue teams equipped with helicopters, and dozens of medical supervision and other response vehicles.

A landing point was simulated for the re-entry capsule. Wang Yifan, a member from the air detachment team, gave an update on the status.  

"From the recent drills and exercises we have participated in, the technical and tactical level of our personnel has been tempered and improved; equipment performance has been effectively tested; cooperation between the five helicopters is becoming more and more tacit; and the location of the landing point is becoming more and more accurate," he said.

The Astronaut Center of China participated in the rehearsal.

"For us, this whole system drill is mainly about medical monitoring and support for the crew members inside and outside the re-entry capsule, and inside the vehicles prepared for them. We have achieved our targeted goals after this drill with all working systems," said Xu Chong, a member of the search and rescue teams.

In the meantime, the ground detachment team has upgraded its response and on-site operations to take into account the sandy and dusty weather in the Gobi Desert in April.

Now, all the working systems are in position and ready for the return of the Shenzhou-17 crew who have been in space for nearly six months.

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