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China's Shenzhou-9 crew returns to Earth after history-making trip

Ren Junchuan / Xinhua via Reuters

Chinese astronauts (left to right) Liu Wang, Jing Haipeng, and Liu Yang salute in front of the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, on June 29, 2012.

Wang Jianmin / Xinhua via AP

the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft lands safely in Siziwang Banner of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Friday.

Ren Junchuan / Xinhua via AP

Members of the search team approach the re-entry capsule of China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft in Siziwang Banner of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Friday.

Space.com reports: Three Chinese astronauts have returned to Earth after spending 13 days on a historic space mission that made their country only the third nation ever to dock a manned spacecraft to another craft in orbit.

The Shenzhou 9 space capsule landed at about 10 p.m. ET (10 a.m. Friday, Beijing time) in Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. The astronauts left the Tiangong 1 prototype space lab module a day earlier. Continue reading the full story.

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China's first female astronaut and two other crew members emerged smiling from a capsule that returned safely to Earth from a 13-day mission. Msnbc.com's Craig Melvin reports.