Discuss as:

Soyuz capsule lands safely with space station crew

Denise Chow of SPACE.com reports: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan today, bringing NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and two Russian cosmonauts safely back to Earth after a months-long stay at the International Space Station.

The Soyuz TMA-01M capsule touched down in Kazakhstan about 50 miles north of the town of Arkalyk on the snowy steppes of Central Asia at about 3:54 a.m. EDT.

Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP - Getty Images

A Russian Soyuz capsule with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri and US astronaut Scott Kelly on board lands near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan on March 16. The capsule carrying the previous crew of the International Space Station (ISS) landed successfully, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

Onboard the Soyuz were the space station's Expedition 26 commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian flight engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Kaleri. They landed under harsh conditions, with ankle-deep snow and 30-knot winds reported by recovery crews.

"The Soyuz landed on its side, but in good shape," NASA spokesman Rob Navias said from the landing zone.

The wind apparently dragged the spacecraft by its parachute about 75 feet (nearly 23 meters), Navias added.

"You would think that was a scene out of the North Pole," Navias said, calling it "viciously cold" at one point. "It was a bull's-eye landing under very harsh conditions."

Dmitry Kostyukov / AFP - Getty Images

A Russian Soyuz capsule with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri and US astronaut Scott Kelly on board lands near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan on March 16.

Kelly is the twin brother of fellow NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who is set to command the space shuttle Endeavour on its final mission to the space station next month. Mark Kelly is the husband of injured Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is recovering after being shot in the head during a Jan. 8 attack in Tucson that injured 13 people and killed six others.

Scott Kelly has said that he hopes to help his sister-in-law with her recovery when he returns home to Houston.

Read the full story.