The Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams, along with two co-travellers, safely returned to Earth from the International Space Station, touching down Kazakhstan, after four months in orbit. Another three astronauts will stay on the International Space Station (ISS) and will return next year.
In a perfect landing, Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide touched down the dark, chilly grassy steppes in central Kazakhstan on board a Soyuz capsule at 7.26 AM IST in Arkalyk. Their return wrapped up a 127-day space journey since their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 15.
Williams has spent 322 days in space during her two long missions. She previously served aboard the ISS as an Expedition 14/15 flight engineer from December 9, 2006, to June 22, 2007. Williams now also holds the record for spacewalk time for female astronauts at 50 hours and 40 minutes over seven spacewalks.