Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call to return home

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google rivals Amazon with delivery drone tests

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Ukraine to restart NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

South Korea's first astronaut is back on Earth

Latest update : 2008-04-19

Her capsule landed 420km off target and 20 minutes late, but Yi So-Yeon, the first South Korean in space, landed safe and sound in the Central Asian country Kazakhstan. (Report: B. Harris)

South Korea's first astronaut returned to Earth on Saturday, touching down with two International Space Station crew members slightly off target in ex-Soviet Kazakhstan, space officials said.
  
Russian television showed the Soyuz spacecraft parachuting onto the barren Kazakh steppe and officials helping Korean scientist Yi So-Yeon and her two colleagues from their cramped capsule.
  
"All of the cosmonauts are well," said Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, which managed the descent.
  
Yi, whose mission was hailed as a landmark for the Korean space programme, returned to Earth with Russian flight engineer Yury Malenchenko and US astronaut Peggy Whitson, who has now spent more time in space than any other American.
  
The three were plucked by Russian helicopters from the landing site in Kazakhstan, a Russian ally in Central Asia that has hosted the Russian space programme since the Soviet era, officials said.
  
They missed their target because they changed their landing plan at the last minute without telling mission control, delaying rescuers, said Roskosmos head Perminov in a televised press conference.
  
Yi, a biosystems engineer, carried out a series of experiments during her nine-day mission on the space station, which President Lee Myung-Bak has described as the start of a "march towards space" for South Korea.
  
After paying some 20 million dollars (12.8 million euros) for Yi's mission, Seoul is due to launch a satellite from its own space base later this year.
  
Yi also brought an Asian flavour to the ISS, taking a kimono on board and bringing South Korea's beloved pickle dish kimchi into space.
  
"I am so honoured to be the one who flies in space and I want to do my best for the whole of Korea, the whole of Asia," she said in a video link with the ISS on Tuesday.
  
"The most fantastic thing is I cannot feel my weight at all and I can fly like Peter Pan."
  
While Yi only spent nine days on board, Whitson and Malenchenko were in orbit for 191 days. The trip pushed Whitson's career total to 377 days in space, more than any other American, US space agency NASA said.
  
She was replaced as commander by Russian Sergei Volkov, who at 35 is the youngest person ever to run the ISS, which has accommodated 156 astronauts from 15 countries, as well as five "space tourists."
  
Volkov is the son of former Russian cosmonaut Alexander Volkov, who launched from the Soviet Union and returned only after the Soviet collapse of December 1991, the two forming the first father-and-son space dynasty.
  
Back at mission control in Moscow, Malenchenko's wife Yekaterina said she was not upset that the crew had changed their landing plan at the last minute. "It's the second time that has happened," she said.
  
"My first word to him will be 'hi' -- it's been so long since I've seen him," she said.
  
Malenchenko, who was making his third long-term flight in space, married Yekaterina via a video link up from the space station in 2003.

Date created : 2008-04-19

COMMENT(S)