'I'm happy to be done,' Williams said from the International Space Station Sunday after she crossed the orbital finish line. 'It wasn't easy, and I'm sure everybody in California's very happy to be done too.'
Williams first launched into space in 2007 and spent 195 consecutive days in space, setting a record for the longest single spaceflight by a female astronaut. On Wednesday, she'll celebrate her birthday in space.
The safe arrival Tuesday of an American, Japanese, and Russian astronauts at the International Space Station helps improve confidence in the Russian space program. The Russian effort has been beset by problems lately.
A leaky Soyuz descent capsule means that astronauts aboard the International Space Station will have to wait another six weeks before returning home. And private resupply missions are not ready for prime time.