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438-Day Ride in Space Ends

March 23, 1995| Associated Press

MOSCOW — A Russian cosmonaut ended a record 438 consecutive days in space on Wednesday when he and his two crew mates landed safely on the flat, barren steppe of Kazakhstan.

Valery Polyakov, a 52-year-old physician, spent his stay on the orbital station Mir. He returned with commander Alexander Viktorenko and Yelena Kondakova.

The cosmonauts left behind another crew of three that boarded Mir last Thursday: cosmonauts Vladimir N. Dezhurov and Gennady M. Strekalov and U.S. astronaut Norman E. Thagard, who hopes to break the Americans' comparatively modest record of 84 straight days in space.

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