Russian space capsule with 3 astronauts lands in Kazakhstan

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Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov made it back to Earth Sunday (Jun 3) along with an official match football that could be used later this month in the opening game of the World Cup in Moscow.

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

"We are a bit exhausted but happy with what we have accomplished and happy to be back on Earth. We are glad the weather is sunny".

The trio will undergo medical tests in the Kazakh city of Karaganda before flying on to Moscow or Houston.

Tingle and Kanai also conducted space walks outside of the station to work on parts of the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

This mission was the first for Tingle and Kanai, and Shkaplerov now has logged 532 days in space on three flights.

Mr Putin highlighted Japan's important contribution to the ISS and Mr Abe expressed his joy at the pair working in such unity in space. He later said he had made a measurement mistake and had only grown 2 cm.

The spacecraft will be carrying a crew of three to the world's sole orbiter, namely Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev, US astronaut Serena Aunon and German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Their Soyuz spacecraft will undock from the ISS around 10.16am and travel away from the space station for a couple of hours, before igniting its engines to take it out of Earth's orbit.

The Expedition 56 crew - Commander Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold of NASA, and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos - will operate the station and prepare for the arrival of three new crew members on Friday, June 8.

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