Capsule carrying world's second space tourist lands

Monday, May 6, 2002

STAR CITY, Russia -- South African Internet millionaire Mark Shuttleworth landed safely on the Kazakh steppe Sunday after a 10-day space voyage that cost him $20 million, emerged from the Soyuz capsule with a broad smile and said it was "the best thing I've ever done."

The Soyuz capsule landed right on schedule at 7:51 a.m. Moscow time, dropping through a clear blue sky near the Kazakh town of Arkalyk at the end of a more than three-hour descent from the International Space Station.

"It was just the most wonderful experience ever. It was fantastic," Shuttleworth, a 28-year-old Internet magnate and the world's second paying space tourist, said after the capsule's landing.

The landing site was ringed with helicopters and surrounded by medical experts who administered checkups on Shuttleworth and his two crewmates.

They flew to Moscow before continuing on to Star City, Russia's cosmonaut training center outside Moscow, for further medical tests.

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