Space: Six months later, three astronauts are on Earth

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After a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, two Russian astronauts and an American astronaut landed in Kazakhstan.

This image released by NASA shows that Expedition 64 Roscosmos astronaut Sergey Kod-Sverchkov is helping to eject from the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft. A few minutes later, he will take on the roles of Roscosmos Astronaut Sergey Rijjikov and NASA astronaut Kate Robins.

France Press agency

Two Russian astronauts and an American astronaut returned to Earth without any problem, landing on the Kazakh steppes on Saturday after a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The Soyuz capsule carrying Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Cod-Sverchkov as well as American Kate Robins landed at 04:55 GMT, 150 km southeast of the city of Jizkazgan in central Kazakhstan.

This was the first assignment for Sergey Kud-Safrchkov, a former soldier, the second for Sergey Ryzhikov, a former military pilot, and Kate Robbins, a molecular biologist. Former astronaut Yuri Malenchenko, who was waiting for the crew upon arrival, was greeted with flowers, who was the first person to sequence DNA in space during her 2016 mission. During this last mission, she continued sequencing activities, worked on experiments on the cardiovascular system, and observed … the growth of radish harvested for analysis on the ground, according to a statement released by NASA.

The International Space Station crew

For a decade, the International Space Station crew has varied according to arrivals and departures, often with between three and six members, but sometimes more. Seven people remained on board on Saturday. Among them, the two Russians and the Americans took off on April 9, during a flight that was also intended to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space.

But Russia’s monopoly on flights to the International Space Station has been broken by American company SpaceX Elon Musk. Last year it became the first private company to successfully send a team aboard the International Space Station, giving Americans the ability to accomplish this feat, for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program.

SpaceX’s second mission to the International Space Station will raise the number of people aboard the station to 11 next week, with the arrival of Americans Shane Kembrah, Megan MacArthur, Japanese Akihiko Hoshid and Frenchman Thomas Pesquet. NASA also announced Friday evening that it has chosen SpaceX to send the next American astronauts to the moon.

(France Press agency)

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