A space capsule carrying two Chinese astronauts landed by parachute in the country's northern grasslands before dawn Monday after a five-day flight meant to burnish China's global standing and rouse public support for its communist leaders.
Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were "in good health" after their Shenzhou 6 capsule touched down at 4:32 a.m. (2032 GMT) in the Inner Mongolia region, ending the country's second manned space mission, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Retrieval crews with helicopters and off-road vehicles rushed to the landing site.
The two astronauts were shown live on state television climbing out of their kettle-shaped capsule with the help of two technicians in red jumpsuits and climbing down a ladder to the ground. They smiled, waved to cheering members of the retrieval crew, accepted bouquets of flowers and sat in a pair of metal chairs beside the capsule.