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Trio who lived on space station return to Earth safely

A trio of space travelers safely returned to Earth on Thursday after a six-month mission on the International Space Station.

A Soyuz capsule carrying NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 7:54 a.m. Thursday. After a medical checkup, the three will be taken by helicopters to Dzhezkazgan from where they will be flown home.

As part of additional precautions due to the coronavirus, members of the Russian rescue team meeting the crew were tested for the virus and the number of people involved in the recovery effort was limited.

In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency, the Soyuz-2.1a rocket booster with Soyuz MS-17 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. A trio of space travelers has launched successfully to the International Spce Station, for the first time using a fast-track maneuver to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours. NASA's Kate Rubins and Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos lifted off as scheduled at 10:45 a.m. (1:45 a.m. EDT, 5:45 a.m. GMT) Wednesday from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the station. (Andrey ShelepinRoscosmos Space Agency via AP)

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner had lived on the station since April.

NASA’s Kate Rubins and Roscosmos’ Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov arrived at the orbiting outpost a week ago for a six-month stay.

In this handout photo released by Roscosmos Space Agency, NASA's Kate Rubins, center, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, top, of the Russian space agency wave before enter the Soyuz MS-17 for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. A trio of space travelers has launched successfully to the International Spce Station, for the first time using a fast-track maneuver to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours. (Andrey ShelepinRoscosmos Space Agency via AP)