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Brazil astronaut, Russia US crew return to Earth

Written by: Staff

MOSCOW, Apr 9 (Reuters) Brazil's first astronaut landed safely in the Kazakh steppe today, returning from a 10-day trip in space with a Russian-US crew that had spent six months on board the International Space Station, mission control said.

''Soyuz has made a soft landing,'' a mission control official in Moscow said after the small Soyuz capsule, charred black from re-entry into the atmosphere, bumped down in northern Kazakhstan's steppe.

Marcos Pontes, a 43-year-old Brazilian Air Force pilot, fulfilled a childhood dream in becoming the first Brazilian in space. He returned to Earth with American Bill McArthur and Russian Valery Tokarev on board Soyuz.

Reuters OM VP0540

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