Logging close to two and a half years in orbit, 57-year-old Russian Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka just bumped up the record for time in space by two months.Previously, Sergei Krikalev held the record for the most space time with 803 days he accrued over six space flights.

Padalka, who was up there for 168 days this time, touched down in Kazakhstan Friday, along with the European Space Agency's Andreas Mogensen and the kazakh Space Agency's Aidyn Aimbetov. Mogensen and Aimbetov spent under 10 days at the International Space Station, before returning with Padalka and some samples.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev welcomed the trio back, proclaiming that Padalka looked great despite the years shuttling between the earth and the ISS. 

"There are 200 states in the world, but not all of them get the luck of sending their citizens into space," said Nazarbayev. "We are one of those rare cases - and we have launched three cosmonauts already, not one."

 The cosmonauts have been collaborating with the astronauts, as NASA and Russia research the effect of space on humans and ways to mute the more negative impacts of zero gravity or "microgravity."

Visitors Aimbetov and Mogensen delivered a brand new Soyuz spacecraft to replace the one already parked there. The new Soyuz re-entry capsule will bring home three more cosmonauts next march.

While there, Mogensen and Aimbetov joined in on experiments concerning new ways to observe the earth and chipped in on the development of new tech. The also participated in the human research trials NASA has been conducting up there.

The pair, who hadn't been in orbit before, delivered "blood samples for NASA's Twins Study, a unique research demonstration using Kelly and his twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, to understand the effects of long duration spaceflight and further NASA's use of personalized medicine in space," says NASA. "Additional samples for the Salivary Markers and Microbiome studies also returned to Earth."

NASA has also been testing out the impact of microgravity on rodents and on the human spine, which can expand and become up to 2.7 inching longer after long periods of zero gravity. NASA is developing a skin suit to manage the spine expansion and the discomfort it creates. 

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