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ISS astronauts return to Earth, greeted by traditional Kazakh folk characters

Right now, the jump-off point for all astronauts headed to the ISS is Kazakhstan, where the Soviet Union built their rocket launching site. Kazakhstan, though it was once part of the USSR, is quite different from Moscow. And when the astronauts of ISS Expedition 34 landed, they were greeted by women in traditional Kazakh dress. Because… Kazakhstan.

The two crew members pictured above are Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy (left) and Evgeny Tarelkin (right). Novitskiy was the Soyuz Commander of the mission, and Tarelkin was the Flight Engineer. Not pictured is Commander Kevin Ford, who probably feels pretty left out. The three men spent 144 days in space as part of Expedition 34, all but two days of which was aboard the ISS.

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