Friday, September 16, 2011

Returning Station Crew Lands Safely

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut landed in Kazakhstan tonight after an hour-long atmospheric reentry.

Soyuz commander Alexander Samokutyaev and crewmates Andrey Borisenko and U.S. astronaut Ron Garan departed the International Space Station about 8:30 p.m. and then started their return to Earth about 11 p.m.

A lengthy communications outage with the crew made for some nervous moments but recovery forces in aircraft and helicopters around the landing site on the south-central steppes of Kazakhstan established contact with the crew during their final descent.

The official landing time was 11:59 p.m.

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