Trio of Russian, Japanese Station Visitors Back on Earth

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At center, Soyuz Commander Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa (left) and Yozo Hirano (right) pose for individual preflight portraits. NASA

Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin along with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano landed on Earth around 10:13 p.m. EST Sunday, Dec. 19 in Kazakhstan (around 9:13 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time). The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft at 6:50 p.m.

Misurkin, now a three-time space visitor, commanded the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft, which launched the visitors to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Dec. 8.

Earlier this month, the International Space Station surpassed its 21-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. During that time, 251 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory, which has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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