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Chinese astronauts return to Earth following a ‘successful’ mission of six months

Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Sunday aboard the re-entry capsule of the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft, according to official broadcaster CCTV, bringing a six-month mission on China’s space station to a close.


In audio broadcast on CCTV, the three astronauts – commander Chen Dong and teammates Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe – who had been overseeing the final, critical period of building at the space station, which was completed in November, all reported they were feeling fine after landing.


The capsule landed at 8:09 p.m. (1209 GMT) at the Dongfeng site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, with space agency staff declaring the entire mission, which began on June 5, a ‘complete success,’ according to CCTV.


The exhausted-looking crew was brought out one by one by staff at the landing site, and by just after 9 p.m., all three had safely evacuated the capsule, according to CCTV.


On Wednesday, a new crew of three Chinese astronauts arrived at the space station onboard the Shenzhou-15 to take their place.


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