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KOROLYOV, Moscow Region, March 16 (Itar-Tass) – Rescue teams have reached the re-entry capsule of the Soyuz spacecraft and begun to evacuate the cosmonauts who have returned to Earth.
“All are well,” Mission Control said.
The descent module Soyuz TMA-06M with three crew-members of the ISS-34 expedition landed in Kazakhstan’s steppe at the designated site at 07:6 Moscow time, Mission Control said.
The capsule touched the Earth’s surface 86 kilometers northeast of Kazakhstan’s town of Arkalyk. The plane of the rescue service picked up the UHF signal from the capsule’s transmitter as soon as it emerged from plasma and kept tracking it all the way down.
Russia’s Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin and NASA’s astronaut Kevin Ford spent more than 143 days in orbit.
The current crew of the ISS consists of Russia’s Roman Romanenko, Canada’s Chris Hadfield, and NASA’s Thomas Marshburn.
Originally Soyuz was to land on March 15, but bad weather delayed re-entry by one day, as air moisture in the area of Arkalyk was one hundred percent, it was raining and air temperature was at around zero Celsius. Winds measured 5-7 meters per second. In such conditions aircraft would have problems with taking search and rescue teams to the main and alternative landing areas, so a decision was made not to take risks.