A crew of three has returned from the International Space Station (ISS) to a very different planet they left last year.
Their Soyuz landing capsule landed under a striped orange-and-white parachute about 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.
No strangers to isolation, Russian Oleg Skripochka and Jessica Meir from the US left Earth in September 2019, well before Covid-19 emerged.
Another American, Andrew Morgan, has been on the ISS since July 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the usual routine for returning space crews.
“It’s quite surreal to see it unfolding on Earth below,” Ms Meir told reporters during a recent video call. “From here, Earth looks just as stunning as usual, so it’s hard to believe all of the changes that have taken place since we left.”
The trio touched down on Earth at 05:16 GMT, with Mr Skripochka and Ms Meir having spent 205 days in space, and Mr Morgan 272 days.
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