Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks delivers fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

Earth

Soyuz capsule lands in Kazakhstan

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-22

Three astronauts were safely brought back to Earth Tuesday after spending nearly six months on the International Space Station. Their Soyuz capsule landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan shortly before sunrise.

REUTERS - Three astronauts inside a Russian Soyuz capsule parachuted safely back to Earth on Tuesday after nearly six months on the International Space Station (ISS), the first landing since NASA retired its space shuttles this summer.

U.S. astronaut Mike Fossum, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov landed at 0226 GMT, shortly before sunrise on the snowbound steppe of central Kazakhstan, NASA TV showed.

"The landing was great. Everything's good," said Volkov, flashing a thumbs-up signal after he was extracted from a Soyuz TMA-02 capsule blackened by the extreme temperatures on re-entry to the atmosphere.

The closure of NASA's shuttle programme means Russian spaceships are the only way to ferry goods and crews to and from the $100-billion ISS, which is shared by 16 nations, until commercial firms develop the ability to transport crews.

Russia hopes the textbook landing will help to restore confidence in its space programme after the August crash of an unmanned Russian cargo flight suspended manned space missions.

The returning crew have been replaced in orbit by NASA's Daniel Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, whose successful launch last week allayed fears that the station would be left empty for the first time in a decade.

But the troubles have left the space station with half the usual handover time. The new crew had only six days with the outgoing astronauts to get up to speed on the quirks of life in space and the station's operations.

NASA said the Soyuz capsule had landed on its side, not unusual in windy conditions, about 90 km (55 miles) north of the town of Arkalyk. Temperatures at the landing site were 15 degrees Celsius below zero.

The three-man crew had spent 167 days in space and their return to Earth took about three-and-a-half hours.

Volkov, huddled in a thermal blanket, is a second-generation cosmonaut and was following in the footsteps of his father, NASA said. It called him: "a rising star in the cosmonaut corps".

Fossum, second to emerge from the capsule, called his loved ones by satellite phone from the landing site. Furukawa, a 47-year-old professional surgeon, was last to emerge. An assistant mopped sweat from his brow.

After initial medical checks in an inflatable tent on site, the returning crew will be taken be helicopter to the city of Kostanai in northern Kazakhstan.

The ISS will regain full, six-person occupancy with the late December launch of U.S. astronauts Don Pettit, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency.

Date created : 2011-11-22

  • SPACE

    Soyuz blasts off, carrying Galileo satellites to space

    Read more

  • SPACE

    Soyuz lift-off delayed hours before launch

    Read more

  • CHINA - SPACE EXPLORATION

    China to launch test module for space station

    Read more

COMMENT(S)