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China’s Shenzhou 3 Spacecraft Returns To Earth Safely SpaceDaily

China’s third unmanned space craft returned successfully to earth Monday after a week-long mission which marked another step in Beijing’s plan to put an astronaut into orbit, state media said. The Shenzhou III (Divine Vessel III) space capsule returned to earth in central Inner Mongolia at 4:51 pm (08:51 GMT), the Xinhua news agency said. The mission, the third test flight of China’s fledgling space program, took off from the Jiuquan launch center in northern Gansu province late on March 25, making it the longest flight in the series. China is aiming to become the third nation to put a human in space after the former Soviet Union and the United States.