Chinese spacecraft returns to Earth
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 2:18p.m.
By 3 News online staff
After a 13-day mission, the Chinese Shenzhou-9 spacecraft has returned to Earth carrying China's first female astronaut.
Watch the video attached to this article to see the landing.
The crew parachuted to a landing on the grasslands of the country's sprawling Inner Mongolia region at about 10:00am (local time). China declared the mission to the Tiangong 1 module a major stride ahead for the country's ambitious space program.
The crew included China's first female astronaut, 33-year-old Liu Yang, who was joined by mission commander and veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, 45, and crew mate Liu Wang, 43. All are highly experienced air force pilots.
The Shenzhou-9 was sent into space on June 16 to carry out a docking manoeuvre with the Tiangong-1 module, 343km above Earth. The successful docking was shown live on national television in China.
This was China's fourth manned space mission, and the first time a manned Chinese spacecraft had completed a docking procedure.
Its success is seen as an important step towards the goal of having a permanent manned space station.
Another manned mission to the module is planned later this year.
3 News / AP
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