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Soyuz, Shuttleworth return to Earth
Posted: Sun, May 5, 2002, 9:08 AM ET (1308 GMT)
Shuttleworth after Soyuz landing A Soyuz spacecraft carrying three people, including space tourist Mark Shuttleworth, landed safely in Kazakhstan late Saturday night, ending their 10-day trip in space. The soyuz TM-33 spacecraft touched down near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan at 11:51 pm EDT (0351 GMT), three hours and 20 minutes after undocking from the International Space Station. All three members of the crew — Russian commander Yuri Gidzenko, Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori, and Shuttleworth — were reported to be in good health after the landing. Shuttleworth, an Internet millionaire who became the first African to fly in space, called the flight "the best thing I've ever done." Shuttleworth paid a reported $20 million for the flight, and has paid an additional undisclosed sum to purchase the Soyuz spacecraft itself. The flight was primarily designed to swap out the Soyuz spacecraft used as lifeboats for the ISS's permanent crew; those spacecraft have a six-month life in orbit.
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