Monday 20 November 2017

Back down to Earth: Astronauts return home after spending a year in space

International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. reacts after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
International Space Station (ISS) crew member Scott Kelly of the U.S. reacts after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly is assisted by ground personnel shortly after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, March 2, 2016
Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos is carried into a medical tent after he and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov landed in their Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 (Kazakh time)

Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth after spending almost a year in space, landing in barren Kazakhstan.

Their Soyuz capsule parachuted onto the central Asian steppes and ended a science-rich mission at the International Space Station that began last March and was deemed a stepping stone to Mars.

It was a triumphant homecoming for the American and Russian after 340 days in space.

Mr Kelly pumped his fist as he emerged from the capsule, then gave a thumbs up. He smiled and chatted with his doctors and others, as photographers crushed around him in the freezing cold.

He said: "The air feels great out here. I have no idea why you guys are all bundled up."

Mr Kelly, 52, and Mr Kornienko, 55, travelled in total 144 million miles through space, circled the world 5,440 times and experienced 10,880 orbital sunrises and sunsets during the longest single spaceflight by an American.

Piloting the Soyuz capsule home was the much fresher and decade younger cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, whose space station stint lasted the typical six months.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News