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Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 06/29/2012

China’s first female astronaut returns from space

China’s taikonauts are finally home.

After nearly two weeks on the job, three Chinese astronauts, including Liu Yang, the country’s first female in space, returned to Earth on Friday, capping off China’s longest and most complex space mission, the Associated Press reported.

The highlight of Shenzhou-9’s mission was the three-person crew’s successful docking with the Tiangong-1 orbiting module, a move the AFP characterized as “essential to the process of building a space station.” Tiangong-1 is the foundation for China’s future space station, slated to be ready by 2020.

“Tiangong is our home in space. It’s warm and cozy,” Liu Yang said, shortly after landing. “We are proud of our motherland.”
China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, steps out of the reentry capsule of Shenzhou-9 on Friday in Siziwang Banner of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. ( Xinhua news agency photo) (Wang Jianmin - AP)

Videos from around the Web depicted a triumphant scene, with nationalistic fervor in full view.

Shenzhou-9’s landing was seen as a success, with the capsule’s parachute deploying fully, resulting in a relatively soft landing. Footage from the capsule’s reentry can be seen below:

The video below shows the successful docking of Shenzhou-9 with China’s orbiting module last Sunday.

See photos from the preparation for China’s space mission.

More images and reactions from the Web:

By Benjamin Gottlieb  |  12:05 PM ET, 06/29/2012

Tags:  World

 
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