MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti)
- Soyuz Reentry Capsule Undocks from Space Station
- Three Space Station Crew Members Head Back to Earth
- New Space Station Crew Confirmed
- New Crew Docks at Space Station
A Soyuz reentry capsule with three members of the International Space Station (ISS) crew landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday, mission control said.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Don Pettit and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers have spent more than six months in orbit.
While in orbit, the crew performed one space walk and several docking and undocking operations. They also conducted more than 30 scientific research experiments.
Three other ISS crew members - Russia’s Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba - will remain in orbit.
NASA astronaut Suni Williams, Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide are expected to arrive at the ISS on July 15 on board a Soyuz TMA-05M spaceship to replace the outgoing crew.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.