Soyuz crew land safely on earth from ISS

26th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts came safely back to Earth from the International Space Station in a Soyuz capsule Friday, Russian Mission Control said.

Soyuz commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker landed at 4:47 GMT near Arkalyk in the steppe of Kazakhstan. They have been on the the ISS since June 18.

"Lowering from orbit and landing operations were carried out as planned. The cosmonauts are in good health," Russian Mission Control said in a statement.

"So long, guys, we are going home!" Yurchikhin said over footage of the Soyuz floating away from the station.

Four hours later the first television reports showed the three crew members sitting near the landing site covered in blankets and smiling.

In the course of their mission, the crew members worked on microgravity experiments in various fields, and had to carry out three unplanned spacewalks to repair the station's external cooling system after an emergency shutdown, NASA said in a press release.

The crew enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner of "rehydrateable turkey and dressing" the night before the voyage, NASA's Scott Kelly, who remains on the station, wrote on Twitter.

Also remaining on the ISS are Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka.

They are to be joined by Russia's Dmitry Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency, and NASA's Catherine Coleman, who will launch from Baikonur on December 15.

© 2010 AFP

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