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Soyuz descent
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft descends through the morning sky on its way to a touchdown in Kazakhstan. (NASA Photo / Bill Ingalls)

News Brief: Three spacefliers touched down amid subfreezing temperatures in Kazakhstan tonight, closing out their 168-day mission on the International Space Station. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft brought NASA’s Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei, plus Russia’s Alexander Mazurkin, back to Earth at 6:31 p.m. PT Tuesday (8:31 a.m. local time Wednesday). Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov, NASA’s Scott Tingle and Japan’s Norishige Kanai remain on the orbital outpost. They’re due to be joined in March by Russia’s Oleg Artermyev and NASA’s Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel.

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