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(CNN)After a record-breaking 355 days spent in space, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is back on Earth.
In a Russian Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, Vande Hei and cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov undocked from the International Space Station at 3.21 a.m. ET Wednesday. They touched down after a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 7:28 a.m. ET.
The spacecraft experienced its deorbit burn at 6:34 a.m. ET Wednesday, which lasted over four minutes and helped slow the Soyuz down. Each step of the crew's return was streamed live on NASA's TV channel and website.
The Soyuz landed upright but ended up on its side due to winds pulling the parachute. Recovery teams assisted the crew in leaving the capsule. After landing, the Russian mission control center's main screen shared the message, "Welcome back, Mark!" in English and "Touchdown!" in Russian.
It was a highly anticipated return that has only drawn more attention due to mounting geopolitical tensions over the past month, and NASA has repeatedly reaffirmed that it continues to work closely with Russian space agency Roscosmos.
After a health check and a two-hour helicopter ride to the recovery staging city of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, Vande Hei will travel back to Houston aboard a Gulfstream jet, as other NASA astronauts have done before, and the cosmonauts will return to their training base in Star City, Russia. Vande Hei's NASA plane will make a stop in Colonge, Germany, for refueling before heading home.
Joint operations between NASA and Roscosmos at the Russian facilities at Baikonur, Kazakhstan, "continue to go well," said Joel Montalbano, the manager of NASA's International Space Station program, during a press conference on March 14.