Former MN doctor lands back on Earth after 5 months in space

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Kjell Lindgren, the former Minneapolis doctor turned astronaut, is back on solid ground after returning from his five-month stint at the International Space Station.

Florida Today reports Lindgren touched down in Kazakhstan at around 7:12 a.m. Central Time, a little over three hours after departure from the ISS in a Soyuz spacecraft.

He returned with two colleagues, Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.

Prior to his space adventures, Dr. Lindgren was the chief resident at Hennepin County Medical Center's emergency department in Minneapolis, where he also completed his medical residency.

Dr. Lindgren is the 217th person to board the ISS. He was selected by NASA to contribute to "experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science."

 Kjell Lindgren shortly after his return to Earth. (Photo: NASA TV)

Kjell Lindgren shortly after his return to Earth. (Photo: NASA TV)

During his time in space he orbited Earth 2,256 times, traveling a total of 59.6 million miles and also ventured out into the void on two spacewalks to conduct upgrades on the station, according to NASA.

He also took part in a "veggie plant growth" experiment with Yui, that saw them successfully grow fresh lettuce fit for consumption – part of NASA's plan to provide sustainable food stocks for astronauts in its future Mars missions.

In September, he waved hello to his former home from 250 miles above the earth with the Tweet below, and last week he commented that his time in the ISS has "flown by."

https://twitter.com/astro_kjell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

After landing on Friday, Lindgren was loaded into a helicopter ahead of his return flight home to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Next year, Mark Vande Hei, a graduate of Benile St. Margaret's high school in St. Louis Park and St. John's University in Collegeville, will follow Lindgren in making a trip to the ISS for a six-month stay.

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