Moscow, Oct 30 (IANS) The landing module of the Russian spaceship Soyuz MS-01 successfully touched down on Sunday in the steppes of Kazakhstan with three crew members on board, according to the Russian Mission Control Centre.
Astronauts Anatoli Ivanishin, Takutya Onishi and Kathleen Rubins, of Russia, Japan and the US respectively, returned to Earth after completing a nearly four-month mission on the International Space Station (ISS), Efe news reported.
The MS-01, the first ship of the new Soyuz model, landed about 140 to 150 km southeast of Zhezkazgan city.
“The crew are well,” said a Mission Control Centre spokesperson.
During their tenure on the orbital platform the three astronauts performed about 40 scientific experiments.
Russians Serguei Rizhikov and Andrei Borisenko and American Shane Kimbrough, who arrived on the ISS on October 21, are still aboard the space platform.
The ISS, a project involving 16 nations, is currently made up of 14 permanent modules and orbits at a speed of more than 27,000 km per hour at a distance of 400 km from Earth.
The orbit of the platform is raised periodically using propellers of ships attached to it, as the ISS loses between 100 and 150 metres in height due to terrestrial gravitation, solar activity and other factors.