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Canadian, Russian, American back on Earth from space station

by Associated Press from Moscow

JUNE 24, 2019 - MOSCOW (AP) — Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station.

134730Russian space agency rescue team help Russian cosmonaut Оleg Kononenko, center, to get from the capsule shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-11 space capsule about 150 km (80 miles) south east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station.Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via APThe Soyuz capsule with astronauts from Canada, Russia and the United States landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 8:47 a.m. (0247GMT), less than a minute ahead of the scheduled time, on Tuesday after a 3 ½ hour flight from the orbiting lab.

Two of the astronauts had completed their maiden flights: Anne McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada. The expedition commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia has ended his fourth space mission. All three spent 204 days in space.

134726A Russian Soyuz MS-11 space capsule descends about 150 km (90 miles) south east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station.Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via APAmericans Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Russia's Alexey Ovchinin remain aboard the space station.

The space veteran Kononenko who was the first one to have been extracted from the capsule looked visibly tired and pale. McClain and Saint-Jacques were more energetic and gave a thumbs-up to the recovery team who greeted the three with applause.

134729A search and rescue team works on the site of landing of the Soyuz MS-11 capsule after the landing about 150 km (90 miles) south east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station.Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via APThe astronauts were put on camping chairs in the sun just by the capsule for a respite and initial medical checks.

When asked by a reporter on site if he liked the weather Kononenko said he was "happy to see any kind of weather" after spending over 200 days in space.

134725A Russian Soyuz MS-11 space capsule descends about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south-east of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station. The Soyuz capsule with astronauts from Canada, Russia and the United States landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan, less than a minute ahead of the scheduled time, on Tuesday after a 3 ½ hour flight from the orbiting lab.Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via APThe crew is expected to be taken to a local airport and fly to their home bases.

Page created on 6/26/2019 8:32:55 AM

Last edited 6/26/2019 8:41:46 AM

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