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Scott Kelly and International Space Station crew return to Earth

U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly (R) and Russian cosmonauts Sergei Volkov (C) and Mikhail Korniyenko, surrounded by ground personnel, rest shortly after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, March 2, 2016. (REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA)

Scott Kelly and Space Station crew return to Earth

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to Earth on Wednesday after nearly a year on the International Space Station, the longest U.S. space mission on record, intended to pave the way for human travel to Mars.

A Soyuz capsule carrying Kelly, Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, another Russian cosmonaut, made a parachute landing on the steppe near the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan at 10:26 a.m. (2326 GMT), about 3-1/2 hours after departing the station.

Kelly and Kornienko have been aboard the space station for 340 days, about twice as long as previous crews. Their flight sets a record for the space station and for the longest U.S. space mission. (Reuters)

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