Three Chinese astronauts are back safely on earth after a two-week mission to an experimental space laboratory, the Tiangong-1, or “Heavenly Palace”.
The capsule of the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and touched down at a remote site in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region.
The event was broadcast live on Chinese state television.
It explained how the astronauts needed time to adjust to gravity before emerging from the capsule.
This was the country’s fifth human space mission and came ten years after the first. The crew included mission commander Nie Haisheng – who has now spent more time in space than any other Chinese astronaut – and China’s second woman in space, Wang Yaping.
During the mission the spacecraft carried out successful automatic and manual dockings with the “Heavenly Palace”.
China, which still lags behind space superpowers the US and Russia, eventually wants to establish a permanently manned space station.