A Russian Soyuz capsule has landed in Kazakhstan, delivering a trio of astronauts from a four-month stint on the International Space Station.
The capsule, carrying US astronaut Joseph Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin, parachuted through a cloudless sky and touched down on Monday morning.
The crew returned after spending 123 days in orbit in the station which is 240 miles above Earth.
The mission was shorter than the usual six months due launch delays caused by a problem with the initial Soyuz spacecraft.
Since the retirement of the space shuttles last year, the United States is dependent on Russia to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, which costs the nation $60 million per person.