Two mainland astronauts touched down safely on the grasslands of Ulanqab, in Inner Mongolia, on Friday, ending a month-long mission in China’s bigger quest to establish a permanent space station.

Major General Jing Haipeng and Colonel Chen Dong spent 33 days aloft, setting a new benchmark for Chinese manned space missions.

China’s space station is expected to be up and running by around 2020 and require astronauts to stay aboard for anywhere up to a year, posing challenges for its crew and hardware.

Jing, 50, and Chen, 37, emerged from the re-entry capsule in good health, suggesting plans for the programme were on track, observers said.

It was Jing’s third space mission and Jing’s maiden flight… see more

source: scmp