Three astronauts return to Earth after ISS mission
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
U.S. astronaut Tom Marshburn (R), Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko (C) and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sit after leaving the Russian Soyuz space capsule following its landing some 150 km (93 miles) southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan in this handout photo dated May 14, 2013. REUTERS PhotoCanadian spaceman Chris Hadfield on Tuesday returned to Earth along with two other astronauts after a half year mission to the International Space Station that saw him become a global celebrity through his Twitter microblog.
Hadfield landed safely in the Kazakh steppe along with American Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko aboard a Russian Soyuz-TMA capsule that had left the space station earlier Tuesday morning, mission control said.
Russian state television pictures showed the giant white parachute of the Soyuz capsule unfurling successfully after re-entry and the capsule then touching down in the Kazakh steppe, sending a plume of dust upwards into the sky.
On a sunny spring morning, all three astronauts were then successfully extracted from the capsule by recovery teams who rushed to the scene.
They were then placed in special chairs amid the long steppe grasses, covered in special thermal blankets and offered tea by the ground crews. All three appeared in good health.
Hadfield had captured the public imagination with regular updates on Twitter that gave an unprecedented insight into daily life in space and access to spectacular images taken from the ISS.
In a fitting climax to his mission, Hadfield posted a cover version of the David Bowie classic "Space Oddity" that showed him singing and even playing the guitar aboard the station. It became an immediate hit on YouTube.