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NASA Astronaut, Russian & Japanese Counterparts Land on Earth After ISS Mission

International Space StationNASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Expedition 49 crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi of Russia and Japan’s respective space agencies have returned to Earth after a 115-day mission aboard the International Space Station.

The astronauts landed in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft, NASA said Sunday.

Expedition 49 crew members supported hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science and helped receive three cargo spacecraft with supplies and research experiments, NASA added.

The three astronauts left for ISS aboard an updated Soyuz spacecraft in July.

Rubins sequenced DNA in space in efforts to help astronauts diagnose an illness, identify microbes in the space station and determine potential health threats.

Rubins also performed two spacewalks alongside NASA’s Jeff Williams to install an international docking adapter that will work to provide a port for spacecraft carrying astronauts to ISS.

Williams and Rubins also retracted a spare thermal control radiator and installed two new cameras during their second spacewalk.

The space agency noted Rubins and Onishi have spent a total of 115 days in space during their first mission while Ivanishin has logged 280 days in space from two expeditions.

Expedition 50 crew members which include Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency will operate ISS for three weeks until three new astronauts arrive, NASA said.

NASA’s Peggy Whitson, the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet and Rocosmos’ Oleg Novitskiy will begin their journey to ISS on Nov. 17 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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