Dzhezkazgan: Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, center, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, right, and German astronaut Alexander Gerst, left, rest after the landing of the Russian Soyuz capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, formerly known as Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Three astronauts have returned to Earth after more than six months aboard the International Space Station. AP/PTI
Dzhezkazgan: Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, center, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, right, and German astronaut Alexander Gerst, left, rest after the landing of the Russian Soyuz capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, formerly known as Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. Three astronauts have returned to Earth after more than six months aboard the International Space Station. AP/PTI

Washington: Three members of the International Space Station’s  Expedition 57 crew have returned to Earth safely after spending 197 days in space. The crew members — Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of European Space Agency (ESA) — landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday, marking the end of a voyage that took them around the globe 3,152 times, covering 83.3 million miles.

The Expedition 57 crew members were launched on June 6 and arrived at the space station two days later to begin their mission. For the last 16 days of her mission, Aunon-Chancellor was joined by fellow NASA astronaut Anne McClain, marking the first time in which the only two US astronauts on a mission were both women, the US space agency said in a statement.

The Expedition 57 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory. The highlights included investigations into new cancer treatment methods and algae growth in space. The crew also installed a new Life Sciences Glovebox, a sealed work area for life science and technology investigations that can accommodate two astronauts.

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