Although six-month missions are normal in the case of the ISS, China is not part of that program. The crew of the Shenzhou-13 mission, therefore, set a national record with 183 days in space. The longest Chinese crewed mission before this was Shenzhou-12, where three astronauts spent 92 days in low Earth orbit.

During the Shenzhou-13 mission, Wang Yaping became the first woman to live aboard the station. She was also the first Chinese woman to conduct a spacewalk. Wang, Ye Guangfu, and Zhai Zhigang conducted over 20 different science experiments and delivered two educational lectures from Tiangong.

The Shenzhou spacecraft developer, China Academy of Spacecraft Technology (CAST), said in a statement that the Shenzhou-13 mission also explored emergency mission mechanisms for the first time, with the Shenzhou-14 manned spacecraft and Long March-2F Y14 rocket in standby position right after the launch of the Shenzhou-13 and Long March-2F Y13.

This enabled a potential space rescue of the Shenzhou-13 taikonauts in case of any malfunction preventing the spacecraft from returning to Earth. Compared to the return trip of the Shenzhou-12 mission which took approximately 28 hours, the Shenzhou-13 carried out a rapid return maneuver which took just eight hours.

Currently, the Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft is being prepared for launch next month to deliver supplies and propellant to Tianhe. This will be followed by the Shenzhou-14 crewed mission, scheduled for June. Two new modules, Wentian and Mengtian, are also expected to launch in Q3 2022.

According to spacewatch