ISS crew returns safely to Earth

Sept. 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM
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GREENBELT, Md., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A Soyuz capsule carrying crew members from the International Space Station landed safely in Kazakhstan late Sunday, NASA said.

Expedition 32 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin had arrived at the ISS May 17 and spent 123 days on the ISS, the space agency said.

The trio undocked from the ISS at 7:09 p.m EDT, and the descent module entered the atmosphere where it deployed it parachutes and then fired landing engines just before touchdown to soften its landing, NASA said.

The place on the space station was taken by Expedition 33 crew members Commander Suni Williams and Flight Engineers Aki Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko, who arrived at the ISS aboard their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft July 17.

Padalka ceremonially handed the controls of the station over to Williams on Saturday afternoon, NASA said.

Williams is serving her second mission in space, her first being on Expedition 14 as flight engineer.

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