Astronauts prepare to leave International Space Station after 2600 orbits

Astronauts prepare to leave International Space Station after 2600 orbits

Three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) have arrived safely back on Earth after a mission of more than five months.

JEZKAZGAN, Kazakhstan-Astronaut Norishige Kanai displayed down-to-earth taste on his return from a almost half-year mission at the International Space Station, declaring a craving for simple steamed rice and miso soup.

Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, center, his Russian counterpart Anton Shkaplerov, left, and Scott D. Tingle of the United States simile as they moved from the International Space Station (ISS) into the Soyuz space capsule before their landing in Kazakhstan on June 3, 2018.

Tingle and Kanai were to travel to the Kazakh city of Karaganda before leaving for Houston, Texas.

Shkaplerov will return to Moscow with a football he brought back from the space station.

The ball, called Telstar 18, was taken to the ISS in March by the Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov.

Live video provided by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration showed that Kanai was the last of the three to come out of the Soyuz.

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.

Tingle also completed a spacewalk to mend the station's robotic arm. He later said he had made a measurement mistake and had only grown 2 cm.

The crew comprising Andrew Feustel (the crew commander, USA), Oleg Artemyev (Russia) and Richard Arnold (USA) now continue their work aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev and German astronaut Alexander Gerst are preparing to go to the ISS this week.

The space laboratory has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1998.