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The Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship carrying astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo returned safely to Earth after spending 90 days in space. Taikonauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are in good health. China announced that the mission was successful. The three astronauts were constructing a space station. Their ninety day mission was the longest that any Chinese astronauts have spent in space.

The Shenzhou-12 landed at the Dongfeng landing site in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021. American astronauts traditionally do water landings. Like Russian cosmonauts, the Chinese taikonauts landed on dry land.

The first Asian astronaut was Pham Tuan, a Vietnamese astronaut who flew aboard Soyuz 37 in 1980. The first Chinese astronaut was Yang Liwei in 2003 aboard Shenzou 5. Technically, Yang was the first Chinese citizen to be an astronaut. The first Chinese-born astronaut was Dr. Taylor Wang, a payload specialist aboard Challenger in 1985.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who spoke to the three astronauts soon after they entered the space station in June, termed the project as an “important milestone” in the country’s ambitious space exploration programme. “The construction of the space station is a milestone in China’s space industry, which will make pioneering contributions to the peaceful use of space by humanity,” Xi had said.

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Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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