Russia returns 3 astronauts safely from the International Space Station

Three Russian cosmonauts returned safely Thursday from a mission to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft carrying Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveyev and Sergey Korsakov landed quietly at 4:57 p.m. at a designated location in the steppes of Kazakhstan, 90 miles southeast of the city of Zizkazgan.

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The trio arrived at the station in March. For Artemyev, the mission was a third spaceflight that brought the total time he spent in orbit to 561 days. Matveev and Korsakov each logged 195 days on their first mission.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who has just returned from a 195-day mission to the International Space Station, is pictured here in Kazakhstan after returning from space on October 4, 2018.
(Maxim Chebenkov/AFP via Getty Images)

As the Soyuz capsule descended on a large red-and-white striped canopy under a clear sky, Artemyev reported to the mission controller that all crew members were fine.

Helicopter support teams landed minutes later to retrieve the crew. After a quick post-flight medical examination, the astronauts will be taken to the Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City outside Moscow later in the day.

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The station is currently operated by ESA’s Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronauts Bob Heinz, Kjell Lindgren, Frank Rubio, Jessica Watkins and Roscosmos Sergey Prokobiev and Dmitriy Petlin.

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