Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sent a message of welcome and congratulations to astronaut Marcos Pontes, following his successful landing after eight days at the International Space Station.
Lula praised Pontes for his dedication, performance and likeability. "You are now definitely a member of the gallery of Great Brazilians," said Lula.
"The extraordinary success of your mission and the experiments at the space station you performed make us all proud and satisfied," concluded the president’s message.
After landing safely in Kazakshtan at 3:47 am (Russian time on Sunday morning, April 9) Brazil’s first astronaut Marcos Pontes, is now at the Yuri Gagarin Astronaut Training Center, also called Star City, just outside Moscow where he will remain until April 19.
Pontes landed with two other astronauts, the Russian Valery Tokarev, and the American William McArthur, who left the International Space Station after spending six months there.
Pontes was in space for eight days. Probably because of the difference in the amount of time they spent in microgravity, doctors said Pontes was in better physical condition upon arrival than the other two astronauts.
The Brazilian astronaut brought with him the experiments he took into space which will be returned to Brazil for evaluation at the Brazilian Space Agency.