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The six-month mission has come to an end. The Taikonauts returned to Earth

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Three taikonauts returned to Earth on Tuesday. This ended their six-month mission to the Chinese Tiangong space station. “I am proud of my homeland,” said Tang Hongbo, one of the taikonauts.

The capsule carrying taikonauts Tang Hongbo, Tang Shengjie and Jiang Xinlin landed safely on Tuesday in Dongfeng in the Gobi Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Astronauts have completed a six-month mission to China's Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) space station.

– I am proud of my homeland. During over 180 days and nights spent in space, I missed my homeland, especially my hometown. Whenever the space station flew over our homeland and I had a free moment, I would look at it from afar through the window and look for my hometown. I was filled with both longing and pride, Tang Hongbo said. A new crew, who arrived on the Shenzhou-18 ship, has been staying there since April 25 this year. Its members include the commander, 43-year-old Ye Guangfu, 34-year-old Li Cong and 36-year-old Li Guangsu. They will spend six months at the station, during which, among other things, they will install space debris disposal equipment and send photos that will be used in academic classes by students.

China's conquest of space

China announced that two spacecraft flights with cargo and two manned missions are to take place in 2024. China's space program assumes sending taikonauts to the Moon and bringing back samples from Mars by 2030. Three unmanned missions to the Moon are also planned over the next four years. China is also to make its space station available to foreign astronauts and space tourists.

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Three taikonauts returned to Earth (video without sound)Reuters

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/XINHUA / Lian Zhen

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