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Returning To Earth After 167 Days In Space

A Soyuz capsule carrying two Russians and one American has landed in Kazakhstan after the trio spent nearly six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The capsule landed on March 12 in heavy fog southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan on the Kazakh steppe.

The capsule was carrying Russians Aleksandr Samokutayev and Yelena Serova and NASA's Barry Wilmore. Serova made her first space flight and became the first Russian woman to serve on the ISS.

With the arrival of the next crew, NASA and Russia will be doubling the mission durations, in an attempt to learn more about how the human body responds to even longer stays in space.

NASA astronaut Mark Kelly and Russia's Mikhail Korniyenko are due to spend a year aboard the station, which flies about 400 kilometers above Earth.

The Russian Soyuz TMA-14M capsule holding three International Space Station (ISS) crew members is seen above the clouds as it descends beneath a parachute just before landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. (Reuters/Bill Ingalls)
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The Russian Soyuz TMA-14M capsule holding three International Space Station (ISS) crew members is seen above the clouds as it descends beneath a parachute just before landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. (Reuters/Bill Ingalls)

Cosmonauts Yelena Serova (left) and Aleksandr Samokutayev and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore (right) sit in chairs outside their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. They spent almost six months on the International Space Station. (AFP/Bill Ingalls)
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Cosmonauts Yelena Serova (left) and Aleksandr Samokutayev and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore (right) sit in chairs outside their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft just minutes after they landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. They spent almost six months on the International Space Station. (AFP/Bill Ingalls)

Russia's space agency ground personnel help cosmonaut Yelena Serova after landing.
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Russia's space agency ground personnel help cosmonaut Yelena Serova after landing.

Personnel from Russia's space agency check the Soyuz TMA-14M capsule shortly after its landing southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts landed safely after a 167-day mission aboard the International Space Station. (Reuters/Vasily Maximov)
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Personnel from Russia's space agency check the Soyuz TMA-14M capsule shortly after its landing southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on March 12. A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts landed safely after a 167-day mission aboard the International Space Station. (Reuters/Vasily Maximov)

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