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World

Soyuz Space Capsule Returns to Earth

The landing took place Sunday morning near Dzhezkazgan on the treeless Central Asian steppes

The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 49 crew members NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, photo: AP/NASA
11 months ago

MOSCOW – A Russian Soyuz space capsule has landed in Kazakhstan, bringing three astronauts from the United States, Japan and Russia back to Earth from a 115-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

Kate Rubins from the United States, Japan’s Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin from Russia were removed from the capsule and sat on the steppes still in their capsule seats while they readjusted to the forces of gravity after nearly four months in weightless conditions, then were taken to a nearby medical tent for initial examination.

Expedition 49 NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is carried into a medical tent shortly after she Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 (Kazakh time). Rubins, Ivanishin, and Onishi are returning after 115 days in space where they served as members of the Expedition 48 and 49 crews onboard the International Space Station. Photo: AP/ NASA/

Expedition 49 NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is carried into a medical tent shortly after she Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Photo: AP/NASA

Andrei Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhykov of Russia and NASA astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough remain aboard the space station. They arrived on Oct. 22 after a two-day voyage.

The trip back to Earth was much quicker for the three returnees on Sunday, about 3.5 hours from undocking until landing.

The capsule landed as scheduled and was closely tracked by helicopters as it wafted through partly cloudy skies under a parachute marked in red and white concentric circles. The craft landed upright, which made the extraction of the astronauts quicker than when capsules land on their sides.

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