Three astronauts and members of the NASA/Roscosmos Expedition 64 team have safely landed in Kazakhstan following a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
A live broadcast of the moment was captured by the television channel belonging to Russia’s Roskosmos space agency, which showed the successful landing and disembarkment of the astronauts.
The spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station at 04:34 Moscow time on Saturday, with Russian cosmonauts Segei Ryzhikov, Sergei Kud-Sverchkov, and American astronaut and flight engineer Kathleen Rubins aboard. It was Kud-Sverchkov’s first mission, and the second for Ryzhikov and Rubins. The three had been at the station since October 2020.
During their time in orbit, the Russian cosmonauts made a spacewalk and carried out repairs in the Russian Zvezda module to seal a crack and areas where potential air leak spots were detected. Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov completed their operations under the ISS Russian Segment’s main operational control group and Energia Space Rocket Corporation’s engineers.
The astronauts also conducted over 50 scientific experiments and researches while on board.
For the first time ever, three researches were conducted without the crew’s participation, while the ISS was in automatic mode.
The three astronauts descended back to Earth in the spacecraft Soyuz MS-17 and the descent capsule touched down in the early hours of 17th April, landing in the Kazakh Steppe, southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan.
The remaining crew aboard the ISS include Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Mark Vande Hai and Victor Glover. They were soon joined by more of their colleagues.
On 22 April, NASA and SpaceX sent another operational flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS.
Four astronauts: NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet, and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency undertook the journey into space aboard the Dragon, which was powered up there by the incredible Falcon 9 boosters.
All four have already been to space before, prompting Pesquet to tweet about their combined expertise, saying: “I don’t mean to show off but this crew might have the most combined experience in spaceflight history!”
NASA’s official Youtube livestream can be found here.