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Space short-timer and two crewmates return home

Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates is carried to a medical tent shortly after he and fellow spacefliers Nick Hague and Alexei Ovchinin landed in their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. (NASA Photo / Bill Ingalls)

Today’s landing of a Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan brought one of the shortest recent stays on the International Space Station to an end, as part of a plan for one of the longest stays.

The first representative of the United Arab Emirates to fly in space, Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, was part of the returning trio, along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin. All three seemed to be in good shape as they were brought out of their Soyuz and underwent an initial round of medical checks.

Almansoori spent a mere eight days on the station, under an arrangement with Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency. The other two wrapped up a 203-day tour of duty in orbit.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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