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Three Space Station Crew Members Land in Kazakhstan

  • VOA News

The International Space Station crew - U.S. astronaut Terry Virts (L), Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (R) and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C) - rest after their landing in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, June 11.

The International Space Station crew - U.S. astronaut Terry Virts (L), Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (R) and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C) - rest after their landing in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, June 11.

A three-person crew from the International Space Station has returned to Earth following a nearly 200-day stint in space.

A Soyuz space capsule carrying NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency and Russia's Anton Shkaplerov landed safely Thursday on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The trio arrived at the International Space Station on November 24, 2014, and spent more than six months conducting research and technology demonstrations.

NASA says they spent 199 days aboard the space station and logged almost 84 million miles during their time in orbit.

Remaining on the space station are Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Flight Engineer Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos.

Kelly and Kornienko are almost three months into their year aboard the complex where NASA says they will collect information valuable to the planning of "future deep space, long-duration missions".

NASA says the remainder of the Expedition 44 crew, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, in late July.

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