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Astronauts return to Earth on Russian Soyuz spaceship.

Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut returned to Earth aboard a Soyuz space capsule after spending six months at the International Space Station.

Yelena Serova, Alexander Samokutyaev and Barry Wilmore landed in snowy Kazakhstan just after sunrise on Thursday morning.

"The Expedition 42 crew is back on Earth," said NASA commentator Rob Navias on the US space agency's live broadcast of the event.

"They have landed in a vertical position, upright," he added, citing Russian search and recovery forces which routinely go out to pick up the returning spacefarers after they touch down on the remote steppe southeast of Dzhezkazgan.

The trio left Earth on September 26. They spent 167 days in space and traveled more than 70 million miles (112 million kilometers) during that time, NASA said.

The next crew launches from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on March 28.

The men on board will be US astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka.

Kelly and Kornienko will stay at the research outpost for an entire year instead of the usual six months, "collecting valuable biomedical data that will inform future deep space, long-duration missions," NASA said.

CAPTION(S):

This NASA photo shows Expedition 43 Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), (L) Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, (C), and NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly as they pose for a photograph outside a Soyuz simulator during the second day of qualification exams, March 5, 2015 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia. The trio is preparing for launch to the International Space Station in their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan March 28, Kazakh time. As the one-year crew, Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-18M in March 2016. AFP PHOTO/NASA/BILL INGALLS

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Title Annotation:Latest News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9KAZA
Date:Mar 12, 2015
Words:301
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