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March 11, 2014

US-Russian Crew Returns Safely from Space Station

by VOA News

A Soyuz capsule carrying a crew of one American and two Russians back to Earth after nearly six months aboard the International Space Station has landed safely in Kazakhstan.

The U.S. space agency NASA said the spacecraft landed Tuesday morning in Kazakhstan. On board were NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy. In a tweet, NASA said the three men are "safe" and "adjusting to gravity."

In November, the two Russian crew members took the Sochi Olympic torch on a spacewalk in the first ever outer space portion of an Olympic torch relay. The torch was then returned to Earth and used to light the flame at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia last month.

The Soyuz crew members are not the only ones making headlines. On Sunday, Kotov handed command of the International Space Station to Koichi Wakata, making him the first Japanese national to oversee a manned space mission.