Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
A Russian Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft, center, stands on the ground as members of a rescue team stand by with their helicopters in the background after it landed in a remote area near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. AP PhotoA Russian cosmonaut and two astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) touched down early today on the steppes of Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz capsule, the Russian Space Flight Control Centre announced.
Images transmitted by NASA showed a message flashed on the screens of the centre: "Landing Accomplished." Russia's Yury Malenchenko, Sunita Williams of the US and Akihiko Hoshide of Japan touched down as scheduled just before 0200 GMT after having spent over four months on the ISS.
The three landed a few kilometres (miles) from the target an hour before sunrise in Kazakhstan, a central Asian ex-Soviet republic, an official said on NASA TV.
The ISS remains crewed by two Russians, Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, and Kevin Ford of the United States. They arrived on October 25 after taking off two days earlier from the Russian space centre at Baikonur in Kazakhstan.