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Back to earth for Chris

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Ground personnel carry Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, center, after the Russian Soyuz space capsule landed some 150 kilometers (94 miles) southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew returning from a five-month mission to the International Space Station landed safely Tuesday on the steppes of kazakhstan. (AP Photo/ Sergei Remezov, Pool)

Ground personnel carry Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, center, after the Russian Soyuz space capsule landed some 150 kilometers (94 miles) southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew returning from a five-month mission to the International Space Station landed safely Tuesday on the steppes of kazakhstan. (AP Photo/ Sergei Remezov, Pool)

Ground personnel carry Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, center, after the Russian Soyuz space capsule landed some 150 kilometers (94 miles) southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. The Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew returning from a five-month mission to the International Space Station landed safely Tuesday on the steppes of kazakhstan. (AP Photo/ Sergei Remezov, Pool)

CHRIS Hadfield and his two fellow astronauts returned to Earth today following a five- month mission in Space.

The trio landed safely in their Soyuz space capsule onto a grassland area in Kazakhstan at 3.31am.

Live footage from NASA showed the capsule slowly descending by parachute under clear skies and landing in the town of Dzhezkazgan.

 

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Hadfield spent the last five months on a mission at the International Space Station along with American Thomas Marshburn, and Russian Roman Romanenko.

Rescue teams moved quickly to help the crew in their bulky spacesuits exit through the narrow hatch of the capsule. They were then put into reclining chairs to start adjusting to Earth's gravity after 146 days in space.

Upon touching down to Earth this morning, Hadfield tweeted: "Safely home – back on Earth, happily readapting to the heavy pull of gravity. Wonderful to smell and feel spring."

The three astronauts smiled as they chatted with space agency officials and doctors who were checking their condition. Hadfield, who served as the space station's commander, gave a thumbs-up sign. They then made quick phone calls to family members and friends.

NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said the three returning astronauts were doing very well.

noconnor@herald.ie


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