Three crew members from the international space station came back to Earth on Friday, touching down in their Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan.
Russian Andrey Borisenko, commander of Expedition 28, and flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev, a Russian, and Ron Garan, an American, had spent 162 days working aboard the space station.
News reports said there were some worries in mission control when radio contact with the spacecraft was lost for several minutes after it left Earth's orbit, but the three men were fine when they exited the spacecraft.
"The crew endured the descent and landing normally. The men feel fine; they are in a good mood. The weather in the landing area in Kazakhstan is normal as well," an official spokesman for Rosaviation told the Pravda news agency.
Three airplanes, 14 helicopters and seven rescue vehicles monitored the landing on the Kazakhstan steppe, Pravda reported.
Before departing the space station Thursday, Garan sent a final tweet from space, including a picture of their destination - Earth.
The departure of the trio leaves three others aboard the space station, American Commander Mike Fossum and flight engineers Sergei Volkov of Russia and Satoshi Furukawa of Japan. They've been on the space station since June and are to remain until November 22. American Dan Burbank and Russia's Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov are scheduled to join them on the space station on November 16.
Three more crew - NASA's Don Pettit, Russia's Oleg Kononenko and Europe's Andre Kuipers - are expected to head to the space station on or about December 26, according to NASA.
Since NASA put the last of its space shuttles into retirement during the summer, future missions will be carried out aboard Russian spacecraft.