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Hopkins heading home

Update: 4:25 pm, 3/11/14, Tuesday NASA -- UI alum Mike Hopkins is officially back on Earth and in Russia.
Update: 4:25 pm, 3/11/14, Tuesday
NASA -- UI alum Mike Hopkins is officially back on Earth and in Russia. He met with reporters and was given gifts for his work at the International Space Station.

While there, he helped in a variety of research projects, including understanding how liquid moves in micro-gravity and how to maintain human health during long stays in space. But, Hopkins says the trip was more than research.

"I think it symbolizes what we as a human species -- not as different countries -- but we as people can do when we come together and we forget about all the things that make us different," said Hopkins. "It's definitely something that can pull us all together and make us learn more about our time here on earth."

He was in space for 166 days. In that time, he orbited Earth more than 2,000 times and traveled more than 70 million miles.
Original: 4:59 pm, 3/10/14, Monday
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION -- A UI grad is heading back to Earth after 166 days in outer space. Mike Hopkins has worked on hundreds of experiments aboard the International Space Station. But, now his mission is complete.

At this point, Hopkins should be buckled in and ready to go. The Soyuz spacecraft he's in is set to undock in a few hours and should land in Kazakhstan about 10 pm, Monday.
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