China astronauts return to earth after 90-day mission

Chinese astronauts returned to earth on Friday after completing the country's longest-ever crewed mission.The capsule carrying the three astronauts was suspended on a parachute and landed in the Gobi desert at 1:35 pm local time.The crew of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft were in "good health" after the 90-day mission, a record duration for China, broadcaster CCTV reported.Live footage showed medical crew and support staff in a helicopter rush to a landing site in the Gobi desert. One staffer planted the national flag near the capsule.The taikonauts will undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can go home "because their immune systems may have weakened after the long mission," Huang Weifen, chief designer of China's manned space project told CCTV.The crew stayed for 90 days at the Tiangong space station, conducting spacewalks and scientific experiments."The successful completion of the mission... paves the way for future regular missions and utlisation of the station," said Chen Lan, an independent analyst at GoTaikonauts, which specialises in China's space programme."It is a very important and very much needed start for the CSS."Chief Executive Carrie Lam congratulated the astronauts on behalf of Hong Kong. "The success of this historic mission demonstrates the continuous efforts of the country in breaking new ground in aerospace technology, consolidating its leading position in the global aerospace arena and making Chinese people all over the world proud," she said in a statement. (Additional reporting by AFP)

China astronauts return to earth after 90-day mission

Chinese astronauts returned to earth on Friday after completing the country's longest-ever crewed mission.

The capsule carrying the three astronauts was suspended on a parachute and landed in the Gobi desert at 1:35 pm local time.

The crew of the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft were in "good health" after the 90-day mission, a record duration for China, broadcaster CCTV reported.

Live footage showed medical crew and support staff in a helicopter rush to a landing site in the Gobi desert. One staffer planted the national flag near the capsule.

The taikonauts will undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can go home "because their immune systems may have weakened after the long mission," Huang Weifen, chief designer of China's manned space project told CCTV.

The crew stayed for 90 days at the Tiangong space station, conducting spacewalks and scientific experiments.

"The successful completion of the mission... paves the way for future regular missions and utlisation of the station," said Chen Lan, an independent analyst at GoTaikonauts, which specialises in China's space programme.

"It is a very important and very much needed start for the CSS."

Chief Executive Carrie Lam congratulated the astronauts on behalf of Hong Kong.

"The success of this historic mission demonstrates the continuous efforts of the country in breaking new ground in aerospace technology, consolidating its leading position in the global aerospace arena and making Chinese people all over the world proud," she said in a statement. (Additional reporting by AFP)