Three astronauts from Space Station return after 163 days in space
Houston, TX, United States (AHN) – After 163 days in space, two Russians and an American astronaut have returned safely to Earth.
A Soyuz capsule carrying Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Daniel Burbank successfully undocked from the International Space Station Friday morning.
NASA tweeted, “Soyuz capsule lands safely at 7:45 a.m. EDT on the steppe of Kazakhstan. All 3 crew members are safe and adjusting to gravity.”
NASA televised images of the capsule, carried by a parachute, and swaying as it floated gently downward amid picture-perfect clear blue skies, with vehicles driving to the landing spot.
The landing went off without a hitch and hit almost exactly were it was projected to land.
During their stay in orbit, the astronauts on Expedition 30, carrying supplies, researched how weightlessness impacts the human body and which materials best perform in space environments.
The astronauts will now help prepare for the arrival of the first commercial cargo shipment to the space station.
The Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX. launched its Dragon capsule from Cape Canaveral on April 30.
It marks the first time a private company has launched space station supplies.
In mid May, Expedition 31 will take three more astronauts up into orbit.