Space trio return to Earth after six months aboard orbiting station

A Russian Soyuz MS-17 space capsule stands on the ground after landing (Roscosmos/AP)
A Russian Soyuz MS-17 space capsule stands on the ground after landing (Roscosmos/AP) (AP)
11:45am, Sat 17 Apr 2021
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A US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts have returned to Earth after six months aboard the International Space Station.

A Soyuz space capsule carrying Nasa’s Kate Rubins and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov landed on Saturday in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said all three were feeling well after they were extracted from the capsule and began reacclimatising to the pull of gravity.

The three had arrived at the orbiting laboratory complex on October 14.

There now are seven people aboard the ISS: Nasa astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russians Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov arrived on April 9; Americans Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, came aboard in November on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, the first ISS docking under Nasa’s commercial crew programme.

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