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Astronauts undock from space station after delay

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: NASA says jumper cables fixed an undocking glitch
  • The trio -- two Russians and one American -- are now scheduled to return to Earth early Saturday
  • NASA says the opening hooks and latches on the docking port would not release

(CNN) -- Three astronauts were on their way back to Earth from the International Space Station on Friday night after engineers resolved a glitch that delayed their departure, NASA said.

The trio -- two Russians and one America -- undocked from the space station in a Soyuz spacecraft at 10:02 p.m. ET, NASA said. They are scheduled to land in Kazakhstan on Saturday morning after spending 176 days in space and 174 aboard the station.

An undocking glitch earlier had delayed the departure of Cmdr. Alexander Skvortsov and flight engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson.

NASA said the opening hooks and latches on the docking port would not release.

To resolve the problem, flight engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin installed jumper cables Friday, allowing the hooks open.

According to NASA, a Soyuz space capsule took the first crew to the orbiting laboratory in November 2000. After the February 2003 Columbia accident, the Soyuz became the means of transportation for crew members going to or returning from the International Space Station.

CNN's Ninette Sosa contributed to this report.