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Soyuz returns safely with crew and Olympic torch

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Soyuz returns safely with crew and Olympic torch
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A Russian space capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts has landed safely in Kazakhstan.

On board the Soyuz were Russian Fyodor Yurchikhin, American Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano of Italy.

Slowed by parachutes and braking rockets fired to soften the impact, the landing was described as a bulls-eye touchdown.

Earlier the Russian craft had undocked from the International Space Station.

The three crew members then spent a few hours of free flight in the Soyuz prior to its de-orbit burn, followed by the landing, bringing an end to their six month mission.

During that time much of the attention was on the Olympic torch which had been taken up to the space station for a spacewalk photo opportunity and a quick return to Earth.