China's Shenzhou-10 mission successful

(Xinhua)

11:25, July 29, 2013

BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Three astronauts who completed China's longest manned space mission returned to Earth safely Wednesday morning, marking another step towards the country's goal of building a permanent manned space station by 2020.

Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China's manned space program, said the Shenzhou-10 mission was a "complete success".

The reentry capsule of Shenzhou-10 landed safely in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at 8:07 a.m.. All three astronauts were in good physical condition.

Nie Haisheng, commander of the Shenzhou-10 crew and a second-time space traveler, was the first to emerge out of the module, followed by Wang Yaping, the only female astronaut of the mission, and Zhang Xiaoguang.

During a brief welcoming ceremony held at the landing area, the astronauts waved to a crowd composed of military officers, the search and recovery team, and health personnel.

"It feels really good to be back home," said Nie.

"We are dreamers, and we have now fulfilled our dream," said Zhang. "Our space dream knows no boundary, and our hard work will never cease," he said.

Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli was at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center and watched the live broadcast of the return.

"The complete success of the Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-10 mission has further consolidated China's space rendezvous and docking expertise and marked a great success in achieving the second-phase target of the nation's manned space program," Zhang Gaoli said in a congratulatory letter read on behalf of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the State Council and the Central Military Commission.

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