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Sun, Apr 24, 2005

ISS Crew Safely Returned To Earth

Welcome Home Expedition Ten Crew

After more than six months in orbit, the tenth crew of the International Space Station landed in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz spacecraft at 6:08 EDT Sunday. Commander and Nasa ISS Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov returned along with European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy. Vittori had launched with the Expedition 11 Crew and had spent eight days conducting experiments on the station.

The re-entry of the spacecraft went without a hitch, bringing the three astronauts to a safe landing about 53 miles northeast of Arkalyk. The recovery team reached the capsule in minutes. Chiao and Sharipov had spent 192 days, 19 hours and 2 minutes in space according to NASA.

The landing area was soggy from recent rains and melting snow, so the first recovery team to the capsule decided to fly the crew to Arkalyk to meet with the rest of the recovery team. Chiao and Sharipov will spend the next several weeks in Star City, near Moscow, for debriefing and medical examinations.

They launched last October 13th at 11:06 p.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. During their time in space, they performed two spacewalks, conducted station maintenance and did scientific experiments. Their trip to the station took about two days. Their return home took less than four hours.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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