A crew of three astronauts from the U.S., Russia and Japan landed safely back on Earth Saturday, completing a four-month mission that included the first use of a DNA sequencer in space and installation of a parking spot at the International Space Station for upcoming commercial space taxis.
The astronauts made a parachute landing in Kazakhstan around midnight EDT, leaving behind three crew mates who’d arrived at the ISS last week.
Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency said he was reluctant to leave the orbiting outpost. “The time is very special here,” he said. “On the space station, you live in a very friendly, very good environment.”