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Russia's Soyuz spacecraft lands in Kazakhstan after ISS mission

By Allen Cone
Russia's Soyuz spacecraft lands in Kazakhstan after ISS mission
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship with three Russians aboard nears the ground in Kazakhstan on Sunday. Image courtesy NASA

Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A Soyuz MS-18 space capsule with a cosmonaut and two Russian filmmakers landed in Kazakhstan on Sunday after a 3 1/2-hour trip from the International Space Station.

The capsule landed at 10:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, according to NASA.

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Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos had been 191 days in space since April 9, and it was his third mission. He completed three spacewalks totaling 22 hours, 38 minutes.

Russian actress Yulia Peresild and producer-director Klim Shipenko arrived at the station Oct. 5 for 12 days of filming their movie, Challenge, under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities.

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The first movie filmed in outer space is about a woman doctor who travels to the orbital outpost to save a cosmonaut's life. About 35-40 minutes of the film's screen time were to be filmed in the orbit.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin told Channel One that Novitsky, who spent more time in orbit than other returning crew members, "is feeling quite well for such a lengthy spaceflight. His condition is normal. He asked for some birch sap and got it. His rehabilitation will be lengthy, compared to those who spent 12 days in space."

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Still aboard the ISS are the seven-person crew of Expedition 66 with station commander Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

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A launch by SpaceX from Cape Canaveral in Florida is scheduled for later this month with NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron as well as ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer.

A total of 246 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory since November 2020.

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