International Space Station crew land safely in Kazakhstan

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International Space Station crew land safely in Kazakhstan

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Three International Space Station (ISS) crew have returned to earth safely.

The Russian Soyuz capsule carrying them landed in the Kazakhstan steppes a day later than planned due to poor weather conditions.

The Russo-American trio Kevin Ford, Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin had spent 144 days aboard the space station and clocked up 61 million miles in space.

The crew’s descent took just under four hours. NASA reported that the deorbit burn had gone flawlessly, with the capsule landing upright almost hitting the bulls-eye landing spot through thick fog.

The crew are said to be doing well and will be transported to a post-flight rehabilitation centre.

They leave aboard another three-man crew. Canadian Chris Hadfield took the helm on Wednesday ahead of their departure. It marks the first time a non-American or non-Russian commands the outpost.

Russia remains the only country capable of getting astronauts to and from the ISS since the Americans retired their space shuttles in 2011.