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US-Russian 3-man crew returns from International Space Station, lands in Kazakhstan

NASA says a Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a U.S.-Russian crew has landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan after spending nearly six months in orbit on the International Space Station.

The agency said in a live broadcast that the capsule carrying American Mike Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy touched down southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 9:24 a.m. local time Tuesday (0324 GMT, 11:24 p.m. EDT Monday). They spent 166 days in space.

The NASA TV broadcast showed the Soyuz TMA-10M capsule slowly descending by parachute onto the snow-covered steppes. Russian search and rescue vehicles quickly moved to the landing site for a quick recovery effort. Rescue crews maintained contact with the crew during their descent and reported they were fine.