Russian, North American astronauts return to earth from International space station

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The first crew to the International Space Station after Russia's launch accident returned to earth safely today. NASA astronaut Anne McClain, veteran cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and Canadian Space Agency record-holder David Saint-Jacques touched down near the Kazakh city of Dzhezkazgan.

The trio's launch on 3rd December last year was the first after a Soyuz rocket carrying Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague failed in October just minutes after blast-off.

The pair had to make an emergency landing. They escaped unharmed but the failed launch was the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history and a new setback for the country's once-proud space industry. (AIR NEWS)

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