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3 Chinese astronauts land back on Earth following 6-month mission

The Shenzhou-15 and Shenzhou-14 crew take a group picture with their thumbs up after a historic gathering in space on Nov. 30, 2022. (Guo Zhongzheng/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
The Shenzhou-15 and Shenzhou-14 crew take a group picture with their thumbs up after a historic gathering in space on Nov. 30, 2022. (Guo Zhongzheng/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

Three Chinese astronauts land in a northern desert after six months working to complete construction of the Tiangong station, a symbol of the country’s ambitious space program, state TV reports.

A capsule carrying commander Chen Dong and astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe touches down at a landing site in the Gobi Desert in northern China at approximately 1210 GMT, China Central Television reports.

The three astronauts were part of the Shenzhou-14 mission, which launched in June. The Tiangong is part of official Chinese plans for a permanent human presence in orbit.

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