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Yuanwang-6 space tracking ship returns

(People's Daily)

17:05, February 06, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

After a 154-day trip covering more than 30,000 nautical miles, China's Yuanwang-6 space tracking ship arrived at the China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Control Department’s port in Jiangsu province at 3 p.m. on Feb. 2, marking the return of all three Yuanwang-series space tracking ships which conducted tracking missions for the rendezvous and docking test between the Tiangong-1 space lab module and Shenzhou-8 spacecraft.

Since Sep. 2, 2011, Yuanwang-3, Yuanwang-5, and Yuanwang-6 had sailed out in succession to planned maritime areas in the Pacific Ocean to carry out 12 tracking missions, including missions for the rendezvous and docking between Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8. The three ships stayed in the ocean for 539 days, and sailed a total of 120,000 nautical miles, setting four new records in China’s history of marine-based space tracking. The four records include most missions conducted by a single vessel, shortest interval between two missions, longest single voyage, and longest successive space tracking.

Wang Hongyao, deputy commander-in-chief of the Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8 Space Rendezvous and Docking Headquarters, went to the port to greet the crew of Yuanwang-6.

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