China astronauts return after 90 days aboard space station marking the country's longest mission yet
Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo landed in the Shenzhou-12 spaceship just after 1:30 p.m. (0530 GMT) after having undocked from the space station Thursday morning.
State broadcaster CCTV aired footage of the astronauts securing packages inside their spacecraft, which is due to parachute to a location in the Gobi Desert near the Jiuquan launch centre on Sept 17.
The astronauts arrived June 17 for a three-month mission aboard China's third orbital station, part of an ambitious space program that landed a robot rover on Mars in May.
According to CMSA. Shenzhou-12 manned spaceship successfully docked with the space station core module Tianhe on Thursday afternoon and entered the orbital capsule.
Astronauts will conduct multiple tasks outside the cabin, carrying out repair and maintenance on the spacecraft, and other construction missions.
The Shenzhou 12 capsule carrying the crew will be launched from the Jiuquan base in China’s northwest next month, the program's deputy chief designer Yang Liwei said.
More than 12,000 applied for NASA's upcoming class of astronauts; a lucky dozen or so will be selected in December.
During their mission, the crew will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.
The contract for the training of Indian officers was signed between the Indian Space Research Organisation and Russian launch service provider Glavcosmos in June 2019.