NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, a native of Maine, and his two Russian crewmates are back on Earth after a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station. 

The three landed safely Thursday morning in Kazakhstan. 

The crew logged 196 days in space, while circling the Earth more than 3,100 times. Their mission included hundreds of experiments researching the long-term effects of microgravity, testing life support systems for deep space missions, and studying techniques for growing cell cultures. 

Cassidy, who was commander of the mission, is from York, Maine. He and cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin completed four spacewalks, totaling nearly 24 hours, to upgrade station batteries.

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