Georgia Tech grad, NASA astronaut returns to Earth after 173 days in space

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Georgia Tech grad, NASA astronaut returns to Earth after 173 days in space

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Ground personnel carry US astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough shortly after landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan Monday, April 10, 2017, on the treeless Central Asian steppes Russia's Soyuz MS-02 space capsule carrying the International Space Station

Atlanta astronaut Shane Kimbrough — along with Russian crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko — landed safely back on Earth Monday morning after spending 173 days in space aboard the International Space Station.

While in space, the crew continued work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard “humanity’s only orbital laboratory,” NASA said in a news release.

One of the crew’s major contributions, part of the Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells investigation, could help treat diseases and injuries in space and could lead to improvements in stem cell production for medical therapies on Earth, according to NASA.

The Georgia Tech grad and his fellow Expedition 50 cosmonauts undocked around 4 a.m. Monday morning and landed in Kazakhstan shortly after 7 a.m.

After this mission, Kimbrough has officially spent 189 days in space and according to The Verge, brought his total number of career spacewalks to six.

Borisenko logged 337 days in space and Ryzhikov, 173 days.

NASA covered the departure and landing on its NASA TV channel, including the moment Kimbrough turned over command of the ISS to astronaut Peggy Whitson for Expedition 51, and will be replaying coverage throughout the day.

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