3 astronauts return to Earth
A three-person crew from the International Space Station landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan after a longer-than-expected orbital stint.
NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency and Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov returned to Earth after 199 days on the station, nearly a month longer than planned.
Because of the delayed return, Cristoforetti, an Italian, has spent more continuous time in space than any other woman, surpassing by several days the mark set by a NASA astronaut in 2007.
The trio’s Soyuz capsule landed 90 miles southeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan, in what a NASA commentator described as a textbook homecoming.