International Space Station crew safely returns to Earth after 165-day mission

Washington: After a a 165-day mission, three International Space Station (ISS) crew members of Expedition 41 have landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 41 Commander Max Suraev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency touched down northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at 10:58 p.m. EST

While in space, they traveled 70 million miles and their mission included numerous scientific experiments and spacewalks. Aboard the station, the crew participated in research focusing on Earth remote sensing, advanced manufacturing, and studies of bone and muscle physiology.

The crew also set a milestone for station science by completing a record 82 hours of research in a single week in July.

A key research focus during Expedition 41 was human health management for long duration space travel, as NASA and Roscosmos prepare for two crew members to spend one year aboard the space station beginning in 2015.

A new Earth monitoring instrument called RapidScat also was installed and activated on the station during the crew’s time in orbit. RapidScat will measure Earth’s ocean surface wind speed and direction, essential measurements used in weather prediction.

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