ANKARA

The three crew members of the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft safely returned to Earth and landed near Kazakhstan’s Jezkazgan city on Thursday morning, Russian space agency Roscosmos announced.

Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, and US astronaut Chris Cassidy had been on the International Space Station (ISS) since April 9. 

The spacecraft undocked at 02.32 a.m. local time (2332 GMT) from the International Space Station and landed at 08.54 a.m. local time (0554 GMT). 

“Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy are in good health,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

“Today Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will take a charter flight to Chkalovsky airfield (Moscow region). For several weeks, they will stay in Star City for post-flight rehabilitation. Doctors will monitor the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft Russian crew members health,” the statement added. 

ROSCOSMOS said the 63rd long-term expedition was launched on April 9 from Site 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome and Soyuz MS-16 became the first crewed spacecraft to go into orbit on the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with a crew inside.

Ivanishin, Vagner and Cassidy conducted dozens of experiments in various fields of science during their 196 days in space, the corporation stressed. 

Currently, the 64th long-term expedition crew consisting of Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins continue working onboard the International Space Station, Roscosmos said.

The SpaceX Crew-1 mission is scheduled to launch with astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi joining the current crew in November, it added.

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