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Chinese Astronauts Return To Earth

A Chinese spacecraft with three astronauts on board has returned to Earth.

The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft touched down in China's northwestern Inner Mongolia early on June 29.

Inside was Liu Yang, the country's first woman sent in space, along with two male colleagues.

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Beijing has hailed the nearly two-week mission as a technical breakthrough for the country's growing space program and a test critical to its goal of building a space station by 2020.

The launch and docking exercises with the experimental Tiangong 1 space-lab module were carried live on state television.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP