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Soyuz Landing Photos: 31st Space Station Crew Returns to Earth

Soyuz Parachutes to Earth

NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule descends to Earth under its main parachute to return three Expedition 31 astronauts home from the International Space Station on July 1, 2012. The capsule was landing in southeast Kazakstan in Central Asia.

Soyuz Landing: A Commander Reflects

NASA TV

Expedition 31 commander Oleg Kononenko (center) sits after landing in the Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule behind him as recovery crews work to extract his two crewmates from the spacecraft on July 1, 2012. The capsule landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan after a long-duration mission to the International Space Station.

Expedition 31: Soyuz Crew Leaves Space Station

NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule backs away from the International Space Station after undocking to return three members of the Expedition 31 crew to Earth on July 1, 2012, in this still from a NASA broadcast.

Landing Zone for Expedition 31 Astronauts

NASA TV

This NASA graphic depicts the landing zone for the Russian Soyuz TMA-03M returning three Expedition 31 astronauts home from the International Space Station on July 1, 2012.

Expedition 31: Soyuz TMA-03M Undocks from Station

NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule backs away from the International Space Station after undocking to return three members of the Expedition 31 crew to Earth on July 1, 2012, in this still from a NASA broadcast.

Expedition 31: Soyuz TMA-03M Hatch Closing

NASA

Expedition 31 commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia (top), Dutch astronaut Andrew Kuipers (center) and NASA astronaut Don Pettit bid farewell to their crewmates on the International Space Station just before shutting the hatches between their Soyuz and the station for a July 1, 2012, return to Earth.

Expedition 31: Soyuz Crew Leaves Space Station

NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule backs away from the International Space Station after undocking to return three members of the Expedition 31 crew to Earth on July 1, 2012, in this still from a NASA broadcast.

Expedition 31: Soyuz View of Station

NASA TV

This display shows the International Space Station as it appears in a display aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule just after undocking on July 1, 2012. The Soyuz undocked to return three Expedition 31 crewmembers to Earth.

Expedition 31 Space Station Astronauts Prepare to Return to Earth

NASA

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (center), along with NASA astronaut Don Pettit (left) and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, both flight engineers, conducted a spacesuit leak check in their Russian Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft to prepare for their return to Earth on July 1, 2012.

Expedition 31: Soyuz Crew Leaves Space Station

NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M space capsule backs away from the International Space Station after undocking to return three members of the Expedition 31 crew to Earth on July 1, 2012, in this still from a NASA broadcast. The Earth provides a spectacular backdrop.

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