A Soyuz capsule with two Russians and an American on board has successfully undocked from the International Space Station and started its return trip to earth.
NASA TV showed footage Friday of the departing crew, Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Daniel Burbank, saying their farewells to the three astronauts left behind before being shut into their cramped capsule.
The capsule undocked and began a slow, gentle drift away from the space station as scheduled at 0818 GMT.
The men have been onboard the space station for 163 days.
Soyuz TMA-22 is set to land later Friday on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where it will be awaited by a large crew of Russian recovery operatives.