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Chinese astronauts complete country’s longest stay in space, land in Gobi Desert


HONG KONG — A trio of Chinese astronauts returned to Earth on Friday after three months in space, setting a record for the country’s longest stay in orbit as China pursues an ambitious space program.

China has marked a number of milestones in space this year, including sending the first component of its space station into orbit in April and landing a rover on Mars in May. The Three Taikonauts, as astronauts are known in China, were celebrated as the country’s space achievements align with an era of heightened nationalism.