Crew members, space traveler return to Earth

A Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut returned to Earth on Saturday along with a US billionaire whose paid voyage to the international space station ended with a landing on the Kazakh steppe, a Russian space official said. The capsule carrying Mikhail Tyurin, Michael Lopez-Alegria and space tourist Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-born software engineer, touched down after a more than three-hour return trip from the orbital station, a spokesman said in an announcement at Mission Control outside Moscow. He said it had been it a soft landing. The capsule raced down to Earth after separating from the two other sections of the Soyuz TMA-9 craft following its departure from the station, where one of the final tasks the travelers performed was to move containers with biological experiments from refrigerators on the station into the Soyuz.