3 astronauts return from space station

March 16, 2013 at 1:18 AM
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BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, March 16 (UPI) -- Three astronauts returned to Earth early Saturday after more than four months on the International Space Station, landing in Kazakhstan.

Kevin Ford, a NASA astronaut, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin had been in space for 142 days, Space.com reported. Their Soyuz capsule touched down just after 11 p.m. Friday EDT, Saturday morning in Kazakhstan.

The return trip was postponed from Thursday because of bad weather at the landing site.

There are currently three men on board the station, Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian commander, Roman Romanenko of Russia and Tom Marshburn of NASA. Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy are scheduled to join them March 28.

The Soyuz capsules have been the only available transportation since NASA ended the shuttle program in 2011.

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