Astronauts prepare to leave International Space Station after 2600 orbits

The Soyuz capsule during a previous landing in Kazakhstan

The Soyuz capsule during a previous landing in Kazakhstan

Aboard were Russian Anton Shkaplerov, American Scott Tingle and Japan's Norishige Kanai, ending a 168-day mission.

Anton Shkaplerov, who was the first to be lifted and carried from the capsule, told the camera crew: "We are a bit exhausted but happy with what we have accomplished and happy to be back on Earth".

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev and his two USA colleagues Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold are still working on the ISS.

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and Scott Tingle of NASA landed in the Kazakhstan countryside around 6:40 p.m., three-and-a-half hours after detaching from the station.

Russian news agency TASS reported that the ball is planned to be used during the opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on June 14, although FIFA has not confirmed that information.

The members of the International Space Station Expedition 55 crew.

The three men worked on a variety of scientific experiments during their time on the ISS. Then he corrected himself and said he had only grown two centimeters.

NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russia's Sergey Prokopyev, and Germany's Alexander Gerst, of the European Space Agency, will be the latest residents of the ISS.

The ISS, one of the few examples of cooperation between Russian Federation and the United States, has been in orbit since 1998, orbiting at a speed of 28,000 km/hour.

They will join NASA pair Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian Oleg Artemyev aboard the orbital lab.

Another trio of space travellers will depart for the station on a launch scheduled for June 6.

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