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Space Station Crew Lands Safely In Kazakhstan

Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk (left), Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, and Belgian astronaut Frank de Winne during preparations before their flight
KOROLYOV, Russia (Reuters) -- A Russian Soyuz space capsule carrying three astronauts from the International Space Station landed safely in Kazakhstan today.

The capsule -- carrying Belgian Frank de Winne, Canadian Robert Thirsk, and Russian Roman Romanenko -- landed as planned in the vast steppe of northern Kazakhstan about 85 kilometers north of the town of Arkalyk.

"The Soyuz commander has just reported that the crew is in good shape," said an official at Mission Control in Korolyov outside Moscow.

A two-man crew remains orbiting the Earth on the space station.

They will be joined by another three-man crew from Russia, the United States, and Japan that is due to launch to the station onboard a Soyuz spacecraft on December 21.