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Space tourist, ISS crew land safely

But the pesky oxygen generator is on the blink again

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Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist, has touched down safely in the steppes of Kazakhstan along with the out going crew of the International Space Station, astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov.

The ISS crew will now spend several weeks in Star City near Moscow for debriefing and medical examinations. After six months aboard the space station, the return to living in full Earth gravity is a shock to the system, and the crew needs time to recover.

Ansari, meanwhile, was only in space for ten days, so her recovery will be that much faster. On her return to Earth, she was given a bunch of red roses by an official, and a kiss from her husband, Hamid, the BBC reports.

She said the ten days in space had been "magnificent" and that she hoped to return to space one day "soon".

The new crew of the space station, Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and ESA's Thomas Reiter, is having trouble with the Elektron oxygen generator. This should not come as any surprise to regular readers. The ISS's flaky oxygen generators have provided much grist for El Reg's story mill.

NASA reports that the device malfunctioned shortly after Atlantis left, and that the new crew have replaced a major component. It was switched on on 16 September and worked for about three hours before breaking down.

Further troubleshooting is planned, NASA says. ®

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