Space station astronauts homeward bound

A British-born American computer game designer and two Russian astronauts are on their way back to Earth from the international space station.

The three are returning aboard a Soyuz capsule that is to touch down in Kazakhstan.

American Richard Garriott paid about $30 (€24m) for a 10-day stay on the space station. He is the son of a NASA astronaut and the first American to follow a parent into space.

Cosmonauts Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko spent six months on the station. Mr Volkov is a cosmonaut’s son.

The Soyuz crew have been communicating with Mission Control outside Moscow during their descent today.

They hope to avoid a repeat of the “ballistic re-entries” that put the last two crews returning from the station off course and subjected them to stronger G-forces than usual.


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