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This Stunning Photo Shows an International Spacecraft Landing in Kazakhstan

Three astronauts touched down in Kazakhstan Thursday morning after traveling almost 71 million miles while orbiting Earth in the International Space Station.

Expedition 42 Soyuz TMA-14M Landing
The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is seen as it lands with Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA, Alexander Samokutyaev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Elena Serova of Roscosmos near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 12, 2015. NASA Astronaut Wilmore, Russian Cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are returning after almost six months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42 crews. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

“They have landed!” That’s what the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Mission Control Center’s main screen flashed as the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft carrying three astronauts touched down in Kazakhstan Thursday morning.

NASA’s Barry Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova landed near the town of Zhezkazgan after traveling almost 71 million miles while orbiting Earth in the International Space Station.

During their nearly six months in orbit, they took several spacewalks and gathered information about the Earth’s atmosphere that may help scientists better understand climate change, says NASA. They also studied how to manage the health effects of long voyages in space in preparation for ambitious future trips.

The landing comes a day after NASA successfully tested the “largest, most powerful rocket booster ever built.”

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Justine Drennan was a fellow at Foreign Policy. She previously reported from Cambodia for the Associated Press and other outlets. @jkdrennan

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