Members of the International Space Station crew from Russia, the United States and Japan left the orbiting platform overnight Tuesday aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule, starting their flight home after 161 days above the Earth.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and astronauts Timothy Creamer of the United States and Soichi Noguchi of Japan boarded the ISS in December. They are due to land at 0324 GMT in Kazakhstan.

The trio left behind two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut, who will be joined by another team of two Americans and a Russian, due to lift off into orbit on June 16 aboard a Soyuz capsule.

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