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American, 2 Russians return to Earth from space station

Last Updated Apr 17, 2021 at 3:17 am PDT

Expedition 64 NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is helped out of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft just minutes after she, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov returned after 185 days in space having served as Expedition 63-64 crew members onboard the International Space Station. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

MOSCOW — An American astronaut and two Russians have returned to Earth after six months aboard the International Space Station.

A Soyuz space capsule carrying NASA’s Kate Rubins and Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov landed at 0455 GMT (12:55 a.m. EDT) Saturday in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, said all three were feeling well after they were extracted from the capsule and began reacclimating to the pull of gravity.

The three had arrived at the orbiting laboratory complex on Oct. 14.

There now are seven people aboard the ISS: NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russians Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov arrived on April 9; Americans Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, came aboard in November on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, the first ISS docking under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The Associated Press