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Safe touchdown in Kazakhstan for returning space station crew

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Safe touchdown in Kazakhstan for returning space station crew

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It has been a safe return to earth after five and a half months in space for three crew members from the International Space Station.

A veteran Russian cosmonaut, an American and a German astronaut have touched down in Kazakhstan.

And it is understandable if there might have been a few nervous people in mission control; the return of the crew came not long after a rocket carrying supplies to the ISS exploded soon after liftoff in Virginia.

Two other Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut remain on board the orbiting space laboratory.

But they are due to be joined later this month by three others: a Russian, an American and an Italian.

The space station, which is owned by 15 nations, has been permanently staffed for the past 14 years.