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Colorado native Steve Swanson returns from International Space Station

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Astronaut Steve Swanson shortly after landing in Kazakhstan. The Colorado native was commander aboard the International Space Station for six months.

Astronaut Steve Swanson shortly after landing in Kazakhstan. The Colorado native was commander aboard the International Space Station for six months. Photo credit: NASA

KAZAKHSTAN — The crew from the International Space Station that includes Commander Steve Swanson of Colorado undocked and landed on earth Wednesday evening. The Soyuz capsule carrying the three men landed safely at 8:23 MT.

Swanson concluded a 6-month stay on the orbiting outpost.

Swanson, who grew up in Steamboat and earned his bachelor of science degree in physics engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, completed his third trip to the ISS.

He assumed the role of flight engineer for Expedition 39.  When the previous crew departed after a few weeks, Swanson became the commander of Expedition 40 — a 6-month mission.

He said the mission includeed about 170 different experiments. Swanson also conducted some space walks.

Swanson is one of 20 U.S. astronauts with ties to CU.

Related: Out of the world interview — Steve Swanson from the space station