Soyuz Carrying 3 Astronauts Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

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A Russian Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft carrying the international space station’s Expedition 21 crew touched down safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan Dec. 1

The three crew members — Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk — spent 188 days in space and were part of the station’s first six-person crew.

NASA’s Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev remain on the station, comprising a two-person Expedition 22 crew that is set to grow to five when a fresh Soyuz carrying Russia’s Oleg Kotov, NASA’s T.J. Creamer and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi arrives at the station Dec. 23.