Beijing: Three Chinese astronauts safely returned to Earth today after a 15-day trip - the longest in country`s history -- to a proposed space lab set to be ready by 2020, marking the latest success for China`s manned space programme.
The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft made a safe landing in Gobi desert in inner Magnolia this morning after about 15 minutes re-entry process shown live on the state television.
Commander-in-chief of China`s manned space programme Zhang Youxia announced that the Shenzhou-10 mission was successful after the three crew members landed safely and left the spacecraft`s re-entry module this morning.
The Shenzhou-10 carried the country`s second woman astronaut Wang Yaping who came out of the module along with the commander of the mission Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguan.
Wang successfully conducted a 40-minute space lecture in orbit for millions of Chinese students on Earth with assistance of astronauts.
Nie, commander of the Shenzhou-10 space mission, first successfully came out of the spacecraft`s re-entry module at around 9:30 am local time.
"I feel really good to return home," said astronaut Nie Haisheng.
"The space is our dream, and China is always our home. We wish our homeland would grow more prosperous and the people live more affluent lives," he said
The mission is part of China`s plans to build a space station of its own to rival Russian and American space exploits.
This is the second experimental mission and China was expected to conduct more such missions in future to master the manual and automatic docking technologies.