China awards medals to Shenzhou-16 astronauts
Updated: April 18, 2024 19:46 Xinhua

BEIJING, April 18 -- Three astronauts who took part in the Shenzhou-16 crewed mission were on Thursday awarded medals for their services to China's space endeavors.

Jing Haipeng was honored with a special-class aerospace achievement medal. Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao received third-class aerospace achievement medals and the honorary title of "Heroic Astronaut."

The awards were given by the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

Jing carried out crewed space missions four times and served as the mission commander three times. He is the Chinese astronaut who has carried out the most crewed missions for his country.

Zhu is the country's first space flight engineer to carry out a crewed space mission and conduct extravehicular activities.

Gui is China's first payload expert to carry out a crewed space mission.

Launched on May 30, 2023, the Shenzhou-16 spaceship sent the trio to China's space station core module Tianhe, where they lived and worked for five months.

During their stay, they performed extravehicular activities once, delivered a live class from the space station, and conducted a series of space-science experiments and in-orbit payload experiments.

The trio returned to Earth safely on Oct. 31, 2023. The Shenzhou-16 mission is the first crewed mission for the application and development stage of China's space station. It is also the first time that three types of astronaut -- pilot, flight engineer and payload expert -- have carried out a mission together.

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