The Shenzhou-7 space module carrying three taikonauts landed safely by parachute Sunday afternoon in China's northern grassland, after a landmark spacewalk mission that leads the country further in its space exploration.
Astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming, and Jing Haipeng came back from a 68-hour flight, which included a 20-minute spacewalk on Saturday.
"It was a glorious mission, full of challenges with a perfect result. I'm proud of my country," said spacewalker Zhai, sitting on a chair after emerging from the module.
Liu said "before I took off, I told you the Chinese taikonauts are the best. Thank the motherland and the people."
Jing said "we could feel the care of the country and people while in the abysmal space. Now we have safely returned."
Premier Wen Jiabao, who was at the Beijing ground control center to watch the landing, said the mission was "a victory of the Chinese space and technological field and a monumental achievement in the Socialist causes".