Russian space capsule with 3 astronauts lands in Kazakhstan

June 3, 2018
Russian space capsule with 3 astronauts lands in Kazakhstan
A Russian search and rescue team helicopter flies from the Kazakh town of Karaganda to Dzhezkazgan, on the eve of Russian Soyuz MS space capsule landing, Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan, Sunday, June 3, 2018. The return of the Soyuz space capsule with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, U.S. astronaut Scott Tingle, and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS is scheduled on Sunday, June 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

A Russian Soyuz space capsule carrying three astronauts from the International Space Station has landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The capsule hit the ground at 6:39 p.m. (1239 GMT) Sunday without apparent problems, descending under a red-and-white parachute.

Aboard were Russian Anton Shkaplerov, American Scott Tingle and Japan's Norishige Kanai, ending a 168-day mission. All three were extracted from the capsule within 30 minutes. They appeared to be in good condition as they sat in lounge-type chairs near the capsule so they could re-adjust to the pull of gravity.

The will later be taken to Karaganda, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the northeast. There they will undergo a longer medical exam and then be flown either to Moscow or Houston.

The orbiting laboratory now has a crew of three: Americans Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian Oleg Artemyev. Another three astronauts are to be launched to the space station on Wednesday from the Baikonur complex in Kazakhstan.

Explore further: Two Americans, one Russian dock with International Space Station

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