China's space-tracking ship back from monitoring missions
China's Yuanwang-5 space-tracking ship returned to its homeport on Thursday after completing two maritime monitoring missions, including one for the country's space station core module Tianhe.
China sent the Tianhe into space on April 29, and on May 29 it sent the cargo craft Tianzhou-2, which successfully docked with Tianhe on May 30, delivering supplies, equipment and propellant.
Yuanwang-5 was at sea for 66 days since April 20, and has sailed more than 15,000 nautical miles. It monitored several key events, including rocket engine shutdowns and orbit entry.
After docking at the port, crew members will examine the facilities and replenish supplies for upcoming missions.
China launched the Shenzhou-12 spaceship on June 17, and it conducted a fast autonomous rendezvous and docking with Tianhe core module on the same day.
The three astronauts aboard the spaceship then entered the Tianhe core module, starting their three-month mission on the space station.