March 14th, 2013
01:45 AM ET

After 143 days in space, astronauts return

After 143 days in space, three astronauts will depart the International Space Station late Thursday for a return flight to Earth in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, NASA said.

One American and two Russians will land in Kazakhstan less than four hours after undocking from the ISS. They are scheduled to land at 10:57 a.m. local time Friday (11:57 p.m. ET Thursday).

Russian space modules are capable of landing on land and do not require a body of water to splash down in. Two parts of the spacecraft will burn up in the atmosphere, leaving only the Descent Module carrying the three crew members, according to NASA.

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