Astronauts Touch Down After 115 Days In Space

astronauts return

Three space travelers landed safely back on Earth late Saturday night.

The journey began in the evening, 5:12 p.m., ET to be exact, when the hatch to the International Space Station closed, and Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin and Takuya Onishi climbed into the cramped Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft that would bring them home.

About three hours later, they separated from the space station as it flew over Mongolia. Inside, Ivanishin was at the controls as the ship’s commander.

About 230 miles below, as Americans went about their Saturday nights, rescue crews fanned out in helicopters around the target landing site in central Kazakhstan. Around 11 p.m., ET, when the space travelers were scheduled to re-entered Earth’s atmosphere, rescuers began to scan the sky for the falling spacecraft. Read more at NPR.org.