Shaoshan Dec 26 — The reentry capsule of Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft was handed over to Shaoshan County in central China’s Hunan Province, the birthplace of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, on Friday, a day ahead of the 127th anniversary of Mao’s birth.
The spacecraft will be stored and exhibited in Shaoshan Mao Zedong Memorial Museum.
Mao approved China’s Shuguang-1 manned space project on July 14, 1970, which paved the way for the country’s ensuing manned space projects.
The Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft was launched on June 11, 2013, with three Chinese astronauts – Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang, and Wang Yaping.
The 2.6-meter-long, 2.4-meter-diameter spacecraft, weighing more than 2 tons, successfully carried out automatic docking with China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory on June 13, 2013.
The crew of Shenzhou-10 completed China’s first orbital maintenance operation, replacing Tiangong-1’s interior cladding on June 15, 2013.
Wang Yaping, the second Chinese woman to go to space, gave the country’s first video lecture from the Tiangong-1 space lab, during which she demonstrated how objects move in the microgravity environment of space.
The three astronauts stayed in the space lab for about two weeks. After that, the reentry module separated from the lab on June 25, flying them back to Earth. It landed in the designated area in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 26.