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Wednesday, 31 October, 2001, 11:48 GMT
Soyuz spacecraft lands safely
A view of the departing Soyuz from the ISS, AFP
The Soyuz was docked for eight days
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian-French crew has landed safely in Kazakhstan after a 10-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

French astronaut Claudie Haignere, the first European woman on the ISS, said the mission had gone very well.


I would have liked to have more time to live among the crew and to be able to look at the Earth through the porthole

Claudie Haignere
Ms Haignere and the two Russian cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev and Konstantin Kozeyev delivered a new emergency capsule to the ISS and conducted scientific experiments in space.

The team is expected to be flown back to Russia's space complex outside Moscow later on Wednesday after being put in special cushioned chairs and fur-lined bags to readjust to Earth's gravity.

The three astronauts blasted off from a launch pad at Baikonur in Kazakhstan on 21 October.

Embryo experiments

They docked with the ISS two days later and joined American Frank Culbertson and Russians Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin who have been living on the station since August.

Ms Haignere, a 44-year-old rheumatologist and expert in neuroscience, was responsible for mooring the Soyuz vessel.

Claude Haignere and her Russian colleagues, AP
The Soyuz crew before take-off
"I would have liked to have more time to live among the crew and to be able to look at the Earth through the porthole," she said on her return.

Research conducted during the Soyuz's mission included medical and biological experiments, including the development of embryos in animals in conditions of zero-gravity.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft also serves as a lifeboat and is replaced every six months. So after leaving the new Soyuz TM-33 docked to the station, Ms Haignere and her partners returned to Earth in the old Soyuz TM-32.

Ms Haignere became the first French woman in space after spending two weeks on board Russia's Mir space station in 1996.

International Space Station

Analysis

Background

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See also:

23 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
16 Oct 01 | Science/Nature
13 Aug 01 | Science/Nature
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