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article imageLatest astronaut trio returns home from the ISS (video)

By Anne Sewell     Mar 16, 2013 in Science
After a delay of 1 day due to bad weather, a Soyuz capsule has now safely landed in northeast Kazakhstan, bringing home 2 Russian cosmonauts and 1 American astronaut from their 5 month stint on the ISS. The next trip is planned to arrive in record time.
Leaving the International Space Station, it took the capsule less than three-and-a-half hours to descend. The returning astronauts were expedition commander Kevin Ford and two Russian flight engineers, Oleg Novitsky and Evgeny Tarelkin.
After spending 142 days in space, the two Russian cosmonauts have now completed their first trip to space while their NASA colleague has now ended his second visit to the ISS. They were initially scheduled to return on March 14, but the trip was postponed due to bad weather on the ground in Kazakhstan.
The trio of astronauts was greeted by freezing temperatures after exiting the spacecraft. During a live commentary of the landing, NASA spokesperson Rob Navias said, "They've landed. Expedition 34 is back on Earth."
According to space.com, the three crew members orbited the Earth 2,304 times while on board the ISS, traveling an impressive 98,169,984 kilometers.
Remaining on board the ISS are Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn.
For the first time in history the ISS has a Canadian astronaut in charge, as Hadfield has now been named commander.
The next crew members are expected to arrive in less than two weeks as cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Aleksandr Misurkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy arrive as part of the 35th space mission crew.
Their arrival will be a challenge and hopefully a new record, as they are planned to arrive at the ISS in the record time of six hours, instead of 2 days, which has been the norm so far. This is due to a new launch trajectory currently undergoing tests. Their launch is scheduled for March 28 at 2043 GMT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Video: Chris Hadfield congratulated on becoming commander of the ISS and farewell to the three departing astronauts.
In other ISS news:
Video: Chris Hadfield asked if food tastes any different in space
Astronauts play music in the 'International Song Station'
More about International Space Station, Iss, Soyuz, Astronaut, Cosmonaut
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