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Tito returns safely to Earth
Posted: Sun, May 6, 2001, 10:00 AM ET (1400 GMT)
Dennis Tito after Soyuz landing A Soyuz spacecraft carrying space tourist Dennis Tito and two Russian cosmonauts safely landed in Kazakhstan early Sunday. The Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft touched down at 1:41 am EDT (0541 GMT) on the steppes near the town of Arkalyk, over 400 km southwest of the Kazakh capital of Astana. Tito appeared very happy when he was helped from the Soyuz capsule, grinning, waving, and giving thumbs-up to observers, although he did appear to have some problems readjusting to normal gravity. Tito called the flight "perfect." "It was paradise, I just came back from paradise," he said. Among those greeting Tito and cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev and Yuri Baturin was Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who congratulated Tito for his flight that Nazarbayev said "paved the way for space tourism."
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