Soyuz Lands Safely in Kazakhstan
'Bulls-eye' landing for trio that oversaw first private spaceflight
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 1, 2012 6:19 AM CDT
The Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule carrying Donald Pettit, Oleg Kononenko and Andre Kuipers undocking from the International Space Station early this morning July 1, 2012.   ((AP Photo/NASA))

(Newser) – A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man multinational crew touched down safely today on the southern steppes of Kazakhstan, bringing an end to their 193-day mission to the International Space Station. Around a dozen recovery helicopters zeroed into the vast uncultivated land mass, where NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, Russia's Oleg Kononenko and Dutchman Andre Kuipers landed in the Russian-made capsule. Russian space officials quickly surrounded the craft, which performed a perfect upright textbook landing, and erected ladders to begin the process of pulling out the astronauts.

Commenting on the landing, NASA TV reporter Rob Navias called it "a bullseye." Kononenko was the first to be extracted from the descent module. He looked pale and tired, but medical staff announced him healthy. Pettit, second out of the module, was heard to say: "It's good to be home." Pettit and his colleagues were part of the team that handled the arrival to the space station last month of the privately owned SpaceX Dragon capsule.

View 8 more images

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Soyuz Lands Safely in Kazakhstan is...
3%
3%
23%
3%
69%
0%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 3 comments
lvan
Jul 1, 2012 11:32 AM CDT
I bet Oleg have learned "Is this normal?" and "ArE we Gonna Die?" in both English and Dutch very well.
HANKHILL
Jul 1, 2012 9:50 AM CDT
glad they made it back ok!
InferiorToYou
Jul 1, 2012 7:42 AM CDT
The hub cabs had all been stolen by the time the helicopters arrived.