Soyuz spacecraft carrying three-man crew docks with ISS
Station commander Anatoly Ivanishin, Kate Rubins with NASA and Takuya Onishi from Japan were in space for 115 days.? Photograph: (AFP)
Three astronauts from the International Space Station landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday following a 115-day mission.
The crew comprising of astronauts from the US, Russia and Japan left for Earth on Saturday aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule.
Russian mission control announced at 11:58 pm EDT/0358 Sunday GMT that the "landing ha taken place!" AFP quoted the control saying.
During the change of command ceremony before departure, Roscosmos' Anatoly Ivanishin said "I'm kind of reluctant to close the hatch," Reuters reported.
"The time is very special here ... I didn't have time to know what’s going on our planet, and maybe it’s for the better. On the space station, you live in a very friendly, very good environment."
Station commander Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's Kate Rubins and Japanese molecular biologist Takuya Onishi landed southeast of the Kazakh steppe town of Zhezkazgan in frosty conditions.
Rubins successfully used a DNA sequencer aboard the International Space Station for the first time with scientists on earth replicating the process with the same samples.
She sequenced the DNA of mouse, virus, and bacteria. According to NASA, this can help in recognising harmful microbes on board the ISS and prevent diseases.
US astronaut Shane Kimbrough is the new commander of the ISS, who left with two other astronauts for the space station last week.
This is the first complete mission for the new generation Soyuz spacecraft with upgraded features.
(WION with inputs from agencies)