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NASA astronaut Steven Swanson (left) sits together with Russian cosmonauts, Alexander Skvortsov (center) and Oleg Artemyev (right), in front of a mock-up of a Soyuz TMA spacecraft as they pose for a photo before their final preflight exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Center in Star City center outside Moscow, on March 5, 2014. / -AFP/Getty Images

MOSCOW (AP) - NASA says a Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a U.S.-Russian crew has landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan after spending nearly six months in orbit on the International Space Station.

The agency said in a live broadcast that the capsule carrying American Mike Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy touched down southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 9:24 a.m. local time Tuesday (0324 GMT, 11:24 p.m. EDT Monday). They spent 166 days in space.

The NASA TV broadcast showed the Soyuz TMA-10M capsule slowly descending by parachute onto the snow-covered steppes. Russian search and rescue vehicles quickly moved to the landing site for a quick recovery effort. Rescue crews maintained contact with the crew during their descent and reported they were fine.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: U.S.-Russian 3-man space station crew lands safely

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