ROUNDUP: The success of the Shenzhou-13 mission represents a major victory of China’s plan to explore space, experts from different countries have said, calling for closer international cooperation in science and technology.
Three Chinese astronauts of the Shenzhou-13 manned spaceship have completed their six-month space station mission and returned to Earth safely on Saturday.
The mission marks that China has completed the verification of key technologies of its space station, and also sets a record for Chinese astronauts’ duration in orbit, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
China’s Shenzhou-13 mission “spent a national-record six months in orbit,” with Wang Yaping becoming “the first Chinese woman ever to conduct a spacewalk,” U.S. space and astronomy news website Space.com reported.
The astronauts, or taikonauts, performed two spacewalks, conducted more than 20 different science experiments, and delivered two live educational lectures in space, the report said.
Calling the success of the astronauts a major win for China’s space exploration program, Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar, pointed out that as a major developing country, China’s stride in space science is an inspiration to the larger global south.
By building its own space station, China will expand its scientific reach, Adhere said, adding that China’s space exploration program is also open to other developing countries.
For example, Beijing is working with African countries across a range of space exploration themes, the scholar noted. “Such exchange programs have significantly boosted capacity for space development programs on the continent.”
Lameck Odada, an economist at the Namibia University of Science and Technology, noted that China’s achievements in space station construction and space exploration are extraordinary, and contribute to human efforts in space exploration.
Odada expressed the expectation that China would share its breakthroughs in scientific research and technology and continue to strengthen cooperation with other countries.
Saying the mission is “definitely a success,” Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist and cosmologist at the Australian National University, told Xinhua that it is “important to move forward with a long-term space station and full operation.”
This mission has shown that China’s astronauts “are capable of long-term space flight, which makes Earth’s future goals and plans for the Moon and beyond exciting,” Tucker said. (Xinhua)