Published: Tue, June 05, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Expedition 55 crew lands back on Earth after 168 days in space

Expedition 55 crew lands back on Earth after 168 days in space

NASA's Scott Tingle, Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), closed the hatch for their journey back from the International Space Station (ISS) at 6.55am United Kingdom time.

After landing, Shkaplerov ate from a bowl of grapes and said he was feeling well and happy to be back on Earth.

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and Scott Tingle of NASA landed in the Kazakhstan countryside around 6:40 p.m., three-and-a-half hours after detaching from the station.

In a video released Thursday by Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, Anton Chkaplerov and his colleague Oleg Artemiev are seen playing on the ISS (International Space Station) with an Adidas Telstar 18 soccer ball. News agency Tass reported that it was to be used in the opening game, although this has not been confirmed by global football federation Fifa.

During his stay at the ISS, he conducted various scientific experiments as the 12th Japanese astronaut to travel into space and the seventh to stay at the ISS for a period of months.

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Tingle also completed a spacewalk to mend the station's robotic arm. Then he corrected himself and said he had only grown two centimeters.

The US space agency NASA says that astronauts can grow up to three per cent taller in space but return to their normal height when back on Earth.

The ISS, one of the few examples of cooperation between Russian Federation and the United States, has been in orbit since 1998, orbiting at a speed of 28,000 km/hour.

The departing crew are making way for another three astronauts who will launch to the ISS on 6 June.

Space research has been one of the few areas of global cooperation between Russian Federation and the West that has not been wrecked by the Ukraine crisis.

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