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Last Updated: Monday October 17 2005 07:52 GMT

Chinese astronauts back on Earth

Nie Haisheng

Two Chinese astronauts have landed safely, after a five day mission in orbit around the planet.

The flight was China's second manned trip into space, and the Shenzhou VI craft came down at 4.32am on Monday.

Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were given noodles, tea and chocolate before being taken by helicopter to a nearby military air base.

China is the third country to send someone into space, after Russia and the United States.

"I can feel that lots of people are thinking about us," Nie Haisheng told a TV reporter.

The astronauts, who have had a medical check-up, say they are feeling well.

China wants to set up a space station in five years, and eventually land a person on the moon.

CHINA'S SHENZHOU SPACECRAFT
1. Forward orbital module
- crew live and work in this section, which contains scientific equipment. In future missions, this module may remain in space as part of a Chinese space station

2. Re-entry capsule
- contains seats for three crew

3. Propulsion module
- contains spacecraft's power unit and liquid fuel rocket system

4. Solar panels
- spacecraft carries two sets with a total area of 40 sq m, which generate an average 1.5kW of power