Two Russians, one American land back on Earth

By AFP
Published: April 10, 2017
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Russia's Soyuz MS-02 space capsule carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko and US astronaut Shane Kimbrough lands in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, on April 10, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Russia's Soyuz MS-02 space capsule carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko and US astronaut Shane Kimbrough lands in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, on April 10, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

DZHEZKAZGAN, KAZAKHSTAN: Two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut touched down safely in central Kazakhstan Monday, following a 173-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

“Touchdown confirmed,” said a commentator on NASA Television broadcasting the landing.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough was accompanied by Russian space agency cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko in the earthbound Soyuz MS-02 craft.

The landing took place in bright conditions at around 1120 GMT (1720 local time) close to the Kazakh steppe town of Dzhezkazgan.

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Of the trio that blasted off towards the ISS together in October only Ryzhikov is completing a first mission.

Former Gulf War helicopter pilot Kimbrough spent close to 16 days on the US space shuttle Endeavour in 2008 while Borisenko was on his second ISS mission following a 164-day stint in 2011.

“Goodnight Earth from @Space_Station, headed back your way tomorrow!” Kimbrough wrote in his last tweet prior to the undocking from the ISS.

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