3 space station astronauts safely return to Earth

According to NASA, the crew will perform a separation burn to increase the distance from the station before executing a 4-minute, 35-second deorbit burn at 8:51 a.m prior to the landing.

The 43-year-old cosmonaut added however that “everything worked accurately”.

A selection of embeddable content from their descent back to Earth is available below.

The trio appeared in good health as they emerged out of the capsule with the help of officials, giving them thumbs up and smiling under a setting Sunday.

Seated in a chair to allow him to adjust to gravity, Shkaplerov said he hoped such “joint work” would continue in the future.

A NASA commentator described their landing as “a textbook homecoming”.

Roscosmos said that a Soyuz spacecraft, docked at the orbiting laboratory, suddenly initiated when astronomers were testing the radio system, which controls the spacecraft’s docking procedure.

“Everything is fine, everything is okay”, he told AFP. However, the crew were never in danger, said the space agency in Russia.

Expedition 43, comprising American Terry Virts, and crewmates Russian Anton Shkaplerov and Italian Samantha Cristoforetti spent seven months on the space station more than 200 miles above Earth.

British singer Sarah Brightman pulled out of her plan to fly as a space tourist on the flight for a fee of US$ 52 million.

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, research scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calendars including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines.

The study aims to examine the long-term effects of living in space.

When the TMA-15M does reenter the atmosphere, it will be carrying three of the six crew members presently aboard the ISS, including the European Space Agency’s Samantha Cristoforetti, Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov, and United States astronaut Terry Virts. The July 3 launch will use an older version of the Soyuz booster, similar to the Soyuz rocket involved in the April loss, but with a slightly different design that is considered unsusceptible to the malfunction that caused the Progress cargo capsule to be lost in April.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>ISS See Expedition 43 cosmonauts undock from ISS ahead of return to Earth

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