Chinese astronauts back in Earth after six months 

Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Saturday after 183 days in space, ending China’s longest manned mission as it continues its quest to become a major space force.

The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft was the last mission in Beijing to rival the US after landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the moon.

Live images from state broadcaster CCTV showed the capsule landing in a cloud of dust as ground crews who had stayed clear of the landing site rushed in helicopters to reach the capsule.

The two men and a woman – Zhai Zhigang, Ye Guangfu and Wang Yaping – returned to Earth shortly before 10 a.m. Beijing time (0200 GMT), after six months aboard the Tianhe core module of the Chinese space station Tiangong.

The ground crew applauded as the astronauts took turns reporting that they were in good physical shape. mr. Zhai was the first to emerge from the pod about 45 minutes after landing.


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