"Today, at 14:17 Moscow time (11:17 GMT) the capsule of the Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft (...) with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin and NASA astronaut Francisco Rubio, who spent a year aboard the ISS, landed in the region of the city of Jezkazgan in Kazakhstan," Roscosmos said.

"Sergei Prokopiev and Dmitry Petelin spent 370 days, 21 hours and 22 minutes in space, the longest flight under the ISS program," the Russian space agency said in a statement.

For his part, NASA boss Bill Nelson hailed a "historic moment in space exploration."

Frank Rubio completes his 371-day journey into space, setting a new record for the longest single-time space flight by an American astronaut. Welcome home, Frank!" he wrote on X (ex-Twitter).

He had taken off, in September 2022 aboard a Russian rocket, thinking of leaving for a classic six-month mission, in the company of the two Russian cosmonauts.

But the Soyuz spacecraft that was supposed to bring them back - as always remained docked to the ISS for the duration of their mission so that it could serve as a rescue vehicle if needed - suffered a leak in December, probably due to a micrometeorite impact.

The previous record for an American was set in 2022 by astronaut Mark Vande Hei, with 355 consecutive days. The absolute record for the longest space stay is held by Russian cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, with 437 days.

© 2023 AFP