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Safe return for U.S., Russian space trio

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A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American spaceflyer has landed safely back on Earth, wrapping up a four-month mission to the International Space Station.

A Soyuz space capsule carrying Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba landed on the Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan at 10:53 p.m. EDT Sunday (0253 GMT Monday), where the local time was early Monday morning.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias of the Johnson Space Center called the touchdown a "bull's-eye landing." The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft landed under a clear blue sky and touched down in a wheat field, with Russian recovery crews swiftly extracting the three spaceflyers from the capsule.

NASA spokesman Josh Byerly, who was onhand at the landing, said the Soyuz crew was in good health and spirits, with Acaba ? the sole American on the crew ? enjoying his return home.



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