Soyuz capsule lands safely

Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:53 AM

ARKALYK, Kazakhstan, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Russian Soyuz spacecraft landed safely in Kazakhstan Monday morning, returning three astronauts to Earth after four-plus months in space, NASA officials said.

Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA, Flight Engineer Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko landed north of Arkalyk aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft at 7:56 a.m. local time. They had undocked from the International Space Station 3 1/2 hours earlier, NASA said.

The trio had been at the space station since July 17.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, who took command of the space station Sunday, and his crewmates, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin, will tend to the station for a month until three new crew members, including NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn arrive.

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