Sunita Williams returns to Earth after 4 months of space odyssey


A Russian Soyuz capsule landed on the Kazakh steppe today, delivering a trio of astronauts from a four-month stint on the International Space Station. The Soyuz TMA-05M capsule, carrying Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams, parachuted through dark, cloudy skies and touched down at 7:56 a.m. local time. The capsule landed near the northern Kazakh town of Arkalyk. The crew returned after spending 125 days aboard the International Space Station, a 100 billion U.S. dollar research complex involving 15 countries and orbiting 240 miles (385 km) above Earth.