As the Inquisitr previously reported, three of the crew members of Expedition 55 working on board the International Space Station (ISS) have recently completed their 168-day mission and were slated to come home this morning.
Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige "Neemo" Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA astronaut Scott "Maker" Tingle successfully landed back on Earth earlier today, and they didn't come home alone. The trio brought back on terra firma the official ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, that is scheduled to take place in Russia from June 14 through July 15.
The astronauts traveled from space aboard a Russian Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft, which landed by parachute southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, in Kazakhstan, at 8:39 a.m. EDT (12:39 GMT or 6:39 p.m. local Kazakh time), reports Space.com.
"That was a good ride!" said Tingle as the Soyuz capsule made its way down toward the Kazakhstan grassland.
As soon as the capsule touched down in the steppe, a Russian-led recovery team rushed to meet the astronauts, along with medical personnel from NASA and JAXA.
The ISS crew looked to be in good health and in a good mood to boot, and Shkaplerov reportedly asked for a bowl of fresh grapes.