yeah it DOES reflect well on the Russian safety record so far. The crew returned safely.
Unfortunately not-so-good for a couple of our shuttles... [but we did over a hundred shuttle missions, so what's the accident rate?]
I checked HERE and found a few interesting statistics:
a) the last shuttle mission was STS-130 in 2010
b) 788 people were sent into orbit on the shuttle (that includes repeat flights, not just the number of astronauts)
c) 14 died on the 2 shuttles that were destroyed. this is 1 in 56
d) at the time the article was written, Soyuz had launched 250 people
e) that the time, there had been 4 fatalities and a couple of abort/returns [that were not counted in the statistics]. This is about 1 in 63, slightly better than the shuttle.
but it DOES suggest that the safety numbers are somewhat comporable. I think if the shuttle program had continued, safety improvements would have bent the statistics in a more favorable direction. We'll never know, of course. The shuttle is history.
That being said, space is risky and of course astronauts sometimes die. But I think Soyuz has been pretty good with their safety record, and I'd like to see Boeing and SpaceX maintain at LEAST that good of a record in the future.
We should keep the ISS. In fact, maybe we should build a hotel there... (it would be easier to extend it than to have another ginormous orbiting thing that might transit across the same orbit as the existing ISS from time to time, and I'd really rather have them all in one spot than to spread out the risk on that one)