American, Russians Land Safely in Soyuz

Trio back to earth after 123 days at space station
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 17, 2012 2:56 AM CDT
Touchdown!   (AP Photo/Shamil Zhumatov, pool)
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(Newser) – One American and two Russian astronauts landed safely back on terra firma early today when their Soyuz capsule hit the ground in Kazakhstan. The three, who spent 123 days at the International Space Station, "are safe and adjusting to gravity," tweeted NASA. "I feel great," said cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has spent a total of 711 days in space over four missions. "It's good to be home," said American Joe Acaba as he gave a thumbs-up.

Another three-man crew left for the space station in May, and they'll be joined next month by US astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin, reports AP. The Russian Soyuz capsule is the only way for astronauts to reach the space station since the US shuttle fleet was decommissioned last year, notes the BBC. (Read more Soyuz stories.)

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