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3 Russian cosmonauts return safely from the International Space Station

Three Russian cosmonauts returned safely from a mission to the International Space Station on Thursday. The Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft with Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov landed softly at 4:57 p.m. (1057 GMT) at a designated spot in the steppes of Kazakhstan, about 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan .

The trio arrived at the station in March. For Artemyev, the mission marked a third spaceflight that brought his total time spent in orbit to 561 days. Matveyev and Korsakov each had 195 days on their first missions.

As the Soyuz pod descended on a large striped red-and-white parachute under clear skies, Artemyev reported to Mission Control that all crew members were feeling well.

Helicopter support teams landed minutes later to recover the crew. After a quick post-flight medical examination, the cosmonauts will be flown to the Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow later in the day.

The station is currently managed by European Space Agency’s Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Frank Rubio and Jessica Watkins, and Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.

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