Three astronauts have completed their six-month mission on China’s space station and have safely returned to Earth.

Three astronauts from China landed back on Earth Tuesday morning following a six-month mission on the country’s orbiting space station.

Jing Haipeng, Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao emerged in good health from the return capsule near the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Last week, the Tiangong station welcomed its new three-person crew.

The station has been fully constructed, allowing the incoming crew to perform medical and scientific experiments as well as maintain equipment.

In 2003, China successfully launched its initial manned space mission and has set a goal to send astronauts to the moon by 2030. They have already retrieved samples from the moon’s surface and successfully landed a rover on the uncharted far side of the moon. Their future objectives include deploying a new telescope to investigate the depths of the universe.

After being denied participation in the International Space Station, China constructed its own space station. This was mainly due to American apprehensions regarding Chinese military influence within their national space program.

Beijing and the U.S. are competing to achieve significant advancements in outer space, despite minimal collaboration due to U.S. regulations. This reflects the ongoing rivalry between the two biggest global economies in areas such as technology, trade, military, and diplomacy. Disputes over China’s control of the South China Sea and Taiwan, an autonomous region, further fuel this competition for influence.

The United States is currently working towards sending astronauts to the moon again by 2025. This is part of a renewed effort to continue sending crewed missions, with support from private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Aside from their missions to the moon, both nations have also independently successfully deployed rovers on Mars. Furthermore, China has intentions to emulate the United States’ accomplishment by landing a spacecraft on an asteroid.