The three member crew of China’s Shenzhou-9 have safely returned to Earth, following a successful – and historic – docked mission with the unmanned space module Tiangong-1. The crew – including China’s first female taikonaut – touched down at the primary landing site in Inner Mongolia at around 2am UTC on Friday.
The mission achieved all of its main goals, including the milestone of an automated crew docking, followed by a manual docking midway through the mission.
The next mission, Shenzhou-10, is expected to involve a three week long docked mission with Tiangong-1 by the end of 2012.
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