On Saturday, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) to bring back three crew members who had been stranded on the orbiting laboratory since October.
The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft, carrying Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, American astronaut Kathleen Rubins, and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.
The three astronauts had been stranded on the ISS since October when the previous Soyuz spacecraft, which had been scheduled to return them to Earth, malfunctioned during its launch.
The successful docking of the Soyuz MS-17 marks the first time that a Soyuz spacecraft has been launched, docked, and returned to Earth in such a short period of time.
The return of the three astronauts marks the end of a challenging period for the ISS. The station has been operating with only three crew members since the previous Soyuz spacecraft malfunctioned, and the return of the three astronauts will restore the station to its full capacity.
The Soyuz MS-17 is scheduled to return to Earth on April 17, and the astronauts are expected to land in Kazakhstan.
The successful docking of the Soyuz spacecraft is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Russian and American space agencies, and it is a welcome sign that the ISS is back to full capacity.