Shenzhou 8 returned to Earth after 17 days in space

The Chinese spacecraft “Shenzhou 8” has returned to Earth as planned. Experts spoke of a “perfect landing” in the autonomous region of Inner Mongolia in northern China. The television showed live pictures of an infrared camera of the floating capsule, which floated in the dark on a parachute.

China’s own space station a step closer

“Shenzhou-8” was sent to space from the Jiuquan space center (Inner Mongolia). During its 17-days flight, the unmanned spacecraft had docked twice in the space module “Tian Gong 1” (Heavenly Palace). This brings China to the third nation that dominates this technology (after U.S. and Russia) and its plans to build a space station by 2020, a big step closer.

German-Chinese cooperation

A German experiment facility was also on board. The “box”, according to the German Aviation and Aerospace Centre, contains 17 medical and biological experiments. The box is now being evaluated by experts in a lab in Beijing, .

Germany is the first country that receives a cooperation with China in space, the collaboration was “already a success story,” said project leader Mark Brown of the German Air and Space Center. The previous data showed an “ideal conditions for the organisms’ with which the effects of weightlessness are explored, added the head of research program, Peter Preu.