Three Astronauts Safely Return to Earth Following Stay at International Space Station

Three astronauts from the United States and Russia landed safely back on Earth Saturday.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who set multiple U.S. space records during her mission aboard the International Space Station, along with crewmates Jack Fischer and Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin safely landed in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. ET Saturday.

While living and working aboard the International Space Station, Whitson and Fischer contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, welcomed several cargo spacecraft delivering tons of supplies and research experiments, and conducted a combined six spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades to the station.

Among their scientific exploits, Whitson and Fischer supported research into the physical changes to astronaut’s eyes and lung tissue caused by prolonged exposure to a microgravity environment, which may pave the way for future stem cell research in space.

Additional research included an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and the study of plant physiology and growth in space using an advanced plant habitat.

Operations continue at the station, with Randy Bresnik in command, as well as, Sergey Ryazanskiy, and Paolo Nespoli serving as flight engineers. The three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and Alexander Misurkin from Russia.

Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to launch Sept. 12 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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