ISS astronauts return to Earth safely

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This homecoming is, however, more special than the precedent ones, especially for the Russians.

A Soyuz space capsule carrying Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, US astronaut Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai lands safely in Kazakhstan.

Roscosmos posted on Thursday a video of Shkaplerov and fellow cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev practicing in the ISS with an Adidas Telstar 18 football. News agency Tass reported that it was to be used in the opening game, although this has not been confirmed by global football federation Fifa.

They brought back to Earth a football that will be used in the opening match of the FIFA 2018 World Cup on June 14 in Moscow, according to an Interfax report.

Tingle and Kanai ventured outside the station on separate spacewalks to perform work on parts of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, and also participated in educational events as part of NASA's Year of Education on Station, said the statement.

Last to emerge was Norishige Kanai.

Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency made life on the space station more accessible to Japanese-speakers by tweeting in the language most days.

Their Soyuz spacecraft undocked and travelled away from the ISS for a couple of hours, before igniting its engines which took it out of Earth's orbit.

Sixteen countries participate in the ISS project, which cost $100 billion, being mostly financed by Russian Federation and the United States. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys.