Two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut touched down Saturday on the steppe of Kazakhstan following a half-year mission on the International Space Station, footage broadcast by the Russian house company confirmed.
Russia’s Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov in addition to NASA’s Kate Rubins landed on barren land at 0455 GMT round 150 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan.
The Soyuz descent module carring the trio landed upright after descending by a cloudless sky on a tremendous spring day in central Kazakhstan, a Roscosmos TV commentator confirmed.
Molecular biologist Rubins, 42, and former army pilot Ryzhikov, 46, had been rounding off their second missions in house having each made their ISS debuts following launches in July and October of 2016 respectively.
Kud’-Sverchkov, 39, one other ex-military man, was finishing his first mission.
Footage from the touchdown website confirmed Rubins smiling as she obtained a bouquet of flowers from retired cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, who was there to greet the crew.
“It is great to be on this side of things,” Rubins mentioned.
She will return to NASA’s hub in Houston whereas colleagues Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are certain for Moscow as they wind down their missions.
During her debut mission in 2016, Rubins grew to become the primary particular person to sequence DNA in house.
In her second mission she continued her sequencing actions, labored on cariovascular experiments and oversaw a small patch of radishes “as they grew in orbit… harvesting them for analysis back on Earth”, in accordance with NASA.
Busy orbital lab
For the final decade, the house station’s inhabitants has sometimes various between three and 6 as crews that blasted off from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan got here and went.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX final yr broke the monopoly that Russia and Baikonur had held on manned launches for the reason that mothballing of the US shuttle programme in 2011, starting a brand new chapter of spaceflight from US soil.
As a consequence the variety of crew on board will attain 11 subsequent week with the arrival of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.
NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency are anticipated to dock with the ISS subsequent Friday, with the four-person crew they’re changing scheduled to return to Earth on April 28.
The absolute document for folks aboard the ISS was set in 2009, when an arriving crew took the orbital lab’s inhabitants to 13.
That can be the joint all-time document for the most individuals in house at anyone time after seven astronauts had been aboard the NASA house shuttle Endeavour and a six-man crew was aboard the Mir house station concurrently in March 1995.
Continuously occupied for greater than 20 years, the ISS is predicted to be retired earlier than the tip of the last decade, elevating questions on future cooperation between Russia and the West in house.
NASA on Friday mentioned it had chosen SpaceX to develop a spacecraft to land the primary astronauts on the floor of the Moon since 1972—an enormous victory for Elon Musk’s firm.
April 12 marked the sixtieth anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic mission marking the start of human spaceflight and a key second within the house race between Moscow and the West.
Since the autumn of the Soviet Union there was extra cooperation than competitors, though it’s troublesome to disguise the looks that Roscosmos and NASA are going their separate methods because the ISS winds down.
American, Russians dock at International Space Station
© 2021 AFP
Two Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut return from ISS (2021, April 17)
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