Astronauts from ISS arrive safely in Kazakhstan

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Three astronauts that oversaw the final assembly stages of the International Space Station (ISS) have landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Russian Oleg Kotov, NASA's Timothy Creamer and Japan's Soichi Noguchi touched down near the town of Zhezkazgan.

The crew left Earth in December to conduct a series of experiments and complete the station which has been under construction for over a decade.

Russia will ferry all crews to the ISS aboard its single-use Soyuz spaceships after the US space agency NASA mothballs its shuttle fleet by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Russia announced a halt to space tourism to free capacity for ISS flights.

They plan to double the number of launches to four this year as permanent crews of professionals aboard the expanded ISS are set to rise to six.

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