HOUSTON, June 2 (UPI) — NASA said the crew of Expedition 23 landed their Soyuz-17 spacecraft safely late Tuesday, ending a 5 1/2-month stay aboard the International Space Station.
Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi undocked at 8:04 p.m. EDT from the aft port of the space station’s Zvezda module, NASA said. The crew landed at 11:25 p.m. EDT, east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
Kotov will return to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, near Moscow. Creamer and Noguchi will return to Houston.
The three men lifted off Dec. 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and spent 161 days at the space station supporting three U.S. space shuttle missions. The station is now occupied by Expedition 24 Cmdr. Alexander Skvortskov, NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko.
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