Three members of the International Space Station crew, all of them radio amateurs, returned safely to Earth on December 11. The trio, Astronauts Kimiya Yui, KG5BPH, and Kjell Lindgren, KO5MOS, and Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, RN3DX, landed safely in their Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 1312 UTC.
NASA noted that it marked the first time a crew has landed after sunset and only the sixth nighttime Soyuz return from the space station. Accompanying the three crew members were samples from several NASA human research experiments aboard the station.
On December 15, three other radio amateurs — UK ESA astronaut Tim Peake, KG5BVI, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, KE5UDN, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP — will launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to replace the returnees.