The Straits Times
Published on Nov 19, 2012

Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule


MOSCOW (AFP) - Three astronauts touched down early on Monday on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan in a Russian Soyuz capsule after spending over four months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Russia's Yuri Malenchenko, Ms Sunita Williams of the US and Mr Akihiko Hoshide of Japan touched down as scheduled just before 10 am Singapore time, the Russian Space Flight Control Centre announced as the message "Landing Accomplished" was flashed on a giant screen.

The three landed an hour before sunrise a few kilometres from the target northeast of Arkalyk in central Kazakhstan, a Central Asian ex-Soviet republic, an official said on NASA TV which showed the landing.

After stepping out of the capsule one by one, the three were placed side by side on a special seat and covered with a blue blanket to protect them from the cold, with the outside temperature at around -10 Celsius.