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Astronauts Return To Earth After 127 Days In Space

Three astronauts who spent 127 days by carrying out various experiments in the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) returned to earth in Russia's Soyuz spacecraft early on Monday.

The spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, astronauts Sunita Williams of the United States and Akihiko Hoshide from Japan landed on schedule northeast of the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 05:53 a.m. on Monday, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

The three astronauts appeared to be in good shape as they emerged from the spacecraft. After a physical checkup, they will be taken by helicopter to an airfield in the Kazakh city of Karaganda and then to Moscow's Chkalovsky airfield, a mission control spokesman said.

Apart from spacewalks, the three astronauts had carried out more than 40 scientific experiments while in the orbiting ISS, the report said.

by RTT Staff Writer

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