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Space

Three ISS astronauts return to earth in Kazakhstan

Three astronauts have landed safely back on earth after a 115-day mission on the ISS. NASA's representative had become the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Three astronauts, Kathleen Rubins of the US, Russia's Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of Japan, landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Sunday morning at 0358 UTC.

"Landing has taken place!" Russian mission control confirmed as NASA TV noted that the Soyuz craft had landed in an upright position.

They had spent more than four months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA's Rubins, a molecular biologist, was the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Rubins, Roscosmos' Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency landed southeast of the Kazakh steppe town of Zhezkazgan in frosty conditions following a 115-day mission on board the ISS.

As they were brought out of the capsule, live television images showed them happy and enjoying the fresh air.

The ISS space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres per hour (17,000 miles per hour) since 1998.

jm/ls (Reuters, AFP)

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