ISS crew member Kathleen Rubins of NASA reacts shortly after the Soyuz MS-17 space capsule landed in a remote area outside Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, April 17, 2021. Photo: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Moscow: Three members of the International Space Station’s crew returned safely to Earth on Saturday on a Russian Soyuz craft, Russia’s Roscosmos space agency reported.
The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, a microbiologist who in 2016 became the first person to sequence DNA in space, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov landed in Kazakhstan at 0455 GMT.
The three had been at the space station since mid-October 2020.
Their mission was the last scheduled Russian flight carrying a US crew member, marking an end to a long dependency as the US revives its own crew launch capability in an effort to drive down the cost of sending astronauts to space.
(Reuters – reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, editing by Mark Potter)