Capsule carrying astronauts from International Space Station returns to Earth

The capsule with the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, landed Friday on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

- A Russian cosmonaut and an astronaut from France returned from the International Space Station on Friday (June 2), landing with one fewer crewmate than when they left Earth six and a half months ago.

"The descent module with Thomas and Oleg will encounter temperatures of up to 1,600 degrees Celsius as friction from the atmosphere heats the protective shield", the ESA said.

All descent landing operations have been successfully completed. "The crew members feel well after returning to Earth", said mission control in a statement, according to

During Novitskiy and Pesquet's time in space, they helped to conduct a multitude of science experiments, including a payload of European investigations flown to the station as part of Pesquet's "Proxima" mission.

"It's been a fantastic adventure and unbelievable ride", Pesquet said in a post on Twitter, featuring a collage of landscapes in the colours of the French flag. Former Russia Air Force pilot Oleg Novitsky completed his second mission to the ISS. He told Macron that even just holding the telephone was hard.

Pesquet won over the recognition of thousands of people at home and overseas and added over half a million followers on Twitter over the course of his departure preparation and time in space.

Fyodor Yurchikhin and Jack Fischer will replace the returning pair on the International Space Station. "These qualities were confirmed during the flight".

Jean-Yves Le Gall, the head of CNES, France's space agency, told AFP Pesquet "worked in a remarkable fashion".

Pesquet underlined the fragility of Earth in an interview to AFP from the ISS.

"There are things that one understands intellectually, but which one doesn't really get", the 39-year-old said.

'Peggy is a legend, ' Pesquet said.

Instead, she'll stay until September, extending her residency and furthering a record she set at the end of April - that of spending more hours in space than any other USA astronaut. It traveled 82.9 million miles (133.4 million kilometers) over the course of 3,136 orbits of Earth.

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