Astronaut Randy Bresnik, Citadel graduate, returns to Earth after 4.5-month stay in space

Randy Bresnik Returns (NASA)

Talk about a homecoming.

Col. Randy Bresnik, a 1989 Citadel graduate, landed back on earth Thursday morning after spending 139 days in space aboard the International Space Station.

"I was in my office last week and received a phone call. The caller ID said outer space," said retired Col. Tom Clark, who served in the Marines with Bresnik. "Knowing Randy Bresnik, it doesn't surprise me at all that he's risen to the pinnacle of our profession."

Bresnik and two other astronauts landed safely in a space capsule in Kazakhstan around 3:30 a.m. EST. NASA tweeted a short video of Bresnik raising his arms triumphantly as he sat atop the capsule.

"He is a model of what The Citadel strives to be," Clark said. "We focus on our three core values of honor, duty, and respect...he brings all of those together."

Bresnik has served as the commander of the International Space Station since July, orbiting the earth at 17,000 miles an hour several times and participating in a space walk outside the station in October. He also spent 11 days there in 2009.

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