The copper-colored capsule of the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft landed in the north of the country, in Inner Mongolia, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu exited the aircraft "in good physical condition," she said, calling the mission a "total success."

Images broadcast by state media showed doctors dressed in white overalls swaddling astronauts in blue blankets.

The trio spent six months aboard the Tiangong space station, including spacewalks and various experiments.

Last week, China sent three new astronauts -- including the first Chinese civilian in orbit--, to the station as part of the Shenzhou 16 mission.

Beijing has pumped billions of dollars into its space programs with the aim of catching up with the United States and Russia.

He hopes to send a manned mission to the moon by 2030 and aims to build a base there.

© 2023 AFP