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Soyuz spacecraft lands on the snow-covered steppes of Kazakhstan

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

An aerial view shows vehicles with their headlights on converging on the Soyuz TMA-02M after the spacecraft landed near the town of Arkalyk in northern Kazakhstan on November 22.

NASA via Getty Images

Russian support personnel help get Expedition 29 crew members out of the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft shortly after the capsule landed.

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

ISS crew member Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov smiles after landing.

The AP reports:

After spending nearly six months aboard the International Space Station, three spacefliers returned home to Earth on Monday.

NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov departed from the space station and landed on the frigid, windy Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan at about 9:26 p.m. ET Monday (8:26 a.m. local time Tuesday).

After months in orbit, the crew's homecoming featured wintry conditions, with harsh winds, below-freezing temperatures and a layer of snow covering the landing site. When it touched down, the Soyuz capsule landed on its side, which is not uncommon in windy conditions, NASA officials said; otherwise, it was a smooth and successful landing. Continue reading.

 

Sergei Remizov / AP

Ground personnel carry Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from the Soyuz capsule minutes after landing.

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