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Indiana astronaut takes space station command

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, November 19, 2012 - 11:16 am

An Indiana native has taken command of the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford became the station's commander Sunday with the departure of three astronauts from the U.S., Russia and Japan who landed safely Monday in Kazakhstan.

The 52-year-old Ford remains on the space station with two Russians and they are to be joined next month by astronauts from the U.S., Canada and Russia.

Ford's crew arrived at the station on Oct. 25 and is scheduled to return to Earth in March.

Ford grew up in the Blackford County city of Montpelier, graduating from Blackford High School and the University of Notre Dame. The former Air Force colonel was the space shuttle Discovery's pilot for a 2009 space station mission.