Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut have touched down back on Earth after nearly half a year at the International Space Station.
Shane Kimbrough of NASA. as well as Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos landed in Kazakhstan early on Monday morning, after spending a total of 173 days in space, says NASA.
As part of ‘Expedition 50’, says the agency, the space-farers took part in various scientific endeavours based at the ISS.
“While living and working aboard the space station, the Expedition 50 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory,” it says.
Among the projects is an investigation into the growth of cells in microgravity conditions, as well as how microgravity could affect the regeneration of biological tissue in vertebrates.
The experiments are ongoing, says NASA, with ‘Expedition 51’ overseeing them after 50’s departure.
51 is led by record-breaking female astronaut Peggy Whitson, who has now set yet another by becoming the first woman to command the ISS twice.