Space station crew lands safely

Astronauts from Canada and Belgium and a Russian cosmonaut have landed safely in Kazakhstan after a six-month stint on the International Space Station, Russian Mission Control said today.

Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said the Russian Soyuz TMA-15 capsule carrying Canadian Bob Thirsk, Russian Roman Romanenko and Belgian Frank De Winne touched down without a hitch near the town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan’s barren north.

Parachutes slowed the craft to a soft touchdown as scheduled and Russian helicopters carrying medical experts headed to the area to help the crew out.

The trio blasted off to the International Space Station on May 27. Their arrival marked the doubling of the station’s permanent crew to six people.

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