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China's Shenzhou-17 astronauts complete handover, returning to Earth on April 30
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2024-04-30

China's Shenzhou-17 crew held a handover ceremony with the Shenzhou-18 crew and transferred the keys of the country's space station to the latter on Sunday.

Up to now, the Shenzhou-17 crew has completed all planned tasks. The three astronauts will return to the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on April 30, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

At present, the landing site and all participating systems are making final preparations to welcome the astronauts back.

The Shenzhou-17 crew members, consisting of Tang Hongbo, Tang Shengjie and Jiang Xinlin, were launched to the Tiangong space station last October, and have remained in orbit for about half a year.

China launched the Shenzhou-18 manned spaceship on April 25, sending three astronauts -- Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu -- to its space station for another six-month mission.