Three Space Station Astronauts Safely Return to Earth

They're back. A three-person crew from the International Space Station landed safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Thursday after a longer-than-expected orbital stint. NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency and Russia's Anton Shkaplerov returned to Earth after 199 days on the station, nearly a month longer than planned. The mission's extension was caused by the failed launch of a Russian cargo ship in April. Cristoforetti's stay on the ISS broke an endurance record for a female astronaut. As a result of the delay, on June 6 Cristoforetti passed a record set by NASA's Sunita "Suni" Williams of 194 days, 18 hours and 2 minutes in space.



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