ISS astronauts land in Kazakhstan, crew in good mood

A special search group on Friday opened the hatch to the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft and reported that all three crewmembers returning to Earth from the International Space Station are in good condition.

“The crew descended and landed [on Earth] just fine, the astronauts are in a good mood, and the weather in Kazakhstan where they landed is fine,” the rescue group told Mission Control by radio.

The Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft carrying ISS crewmembers Andrei Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyayev and Ron Garan landed at a designated area in Kazakhstan approximately at 08:00 a.m. Moscow time (04:00 GMT).

The return was originally set for September 8, but the failed launch of a Progress space freighter on August 24 forced the rescheduling.

The spacecraft undocked from the ISS earlier on Friday. Borisenko, Samokutyayev and Garan spent five months on board the orbital station.

The three crewmembers remaining on board the ISS – Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronaut Michael Fossum and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa – are scheduled to return to Earth in mid-November.

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