The "Soyuz" space vehicle with the International space station crew of three members on board landed on Tuesday on the predetermined zone in Kazahstan territory. Russian spaceman Yuriy Malenchenko, American astronaut Ed Lu and Pedro Duku from Spain have returned to Earth.

Last week a lot of misgivings concerning safety of the MKS project arose, especially about air-cleaning system of the station. Some engineers stated that the growing number of problems with the equipment does not allow NASA to accurately estimate the quality of air and water as well as the level of radiation on board.

Some medics also said that the equipment problems have been occurring more than a year. Moreover, the astronauts from MKS have complained of headaches, dizziness and inability to think clearly.

They declare in NASA that the safety of the flights has never been questioned. According to Robert Mirelson, the representative of the agency, before the eighth expedition has started to MKS, the engineers held a complete preflight discussion of technical problems and concluded that the crew can be sent to the station.

When Malenchenko, Lu and Duku had landed in Kazahstan, they were met by a whole crew of doctors. Among them there was Colonel Nikolay Aleksandrovich Philatov, Deputy Chief of the Department of Spacemen Training for the Surviving in Various Climatic-geographical Zones in Case of Emergency Landing.

This time it is planned to carry out ECG registration from all the members of the crew using the system for ECG-transmission through "Poly-Spectrum-Radio" radio channel during the flight from the place of landing to Chkalovsk airport.

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This page last updated on October 28, 2003.