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Soyuz capsule returns from space station

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Expedition 36 flight engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA, left, commander Pavel Vinogradov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), centre, and flight engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, sit in chairs outside the Soyuz capsule just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday. Vinogradov, Misurkin and Cassidy returned to Earth after 166 days on the International Space Station.

BILL INGALLS / AP PHOTO / NASA Enlarge Image

Expedition 36 flight engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA, left, commander Pavel Vinogradov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), centre, and flight engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos, sit in chairs outside the Soyuz capsule just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday. Vinogradov, Misurkin and Cassidy returned to Earth after 166 days on the International Space Station.

MOSCOW — A Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts has touched down on Earth after undocking from the International Space Station after 166 days in space.

NASA’s Chris Cassidy and Russians Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin landed safely in Kazakhstan, where they launched on March 29.

Live NASA footage showed the three men emerging from the capsule and onto the sunny Kazakh steppe, where they will first be put into reclining chairs that will help them readjust to the earth’s gravity.

The Soyuz is the only means for international astronauts to reach the orbiting laboratory since the decommissioning of the U.S. shuttle fleet in 2011.

— The Associated Press

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