After spending the last five months in orbit, three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully arrived back on Earth in a Soyuz capsule.
This weekend was a great weekend for three crew members of the ISS, who have safely and successfully arrived back on Earth. Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Norishige Kanai and American NASA astronaut Scott Tingle were carried inside the Soyuz MS-07 capsule back to their loved ones.
The capsule, which was under a red-and-white parachute, landed somewhere on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 18:39 local time on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018.
“We’re feeling a bit tired. At the same time, we’re proud to have accomplished [our mission] and we’re glad to be back on Earth. We are glad the weather is sunny,” Shkaplerov, the commander for Soyuz MS-07, said only a few minutes after they landed. “I want to say thank you to all the services who are supporting our nominal landing.”
One day before their departure, Shkaplerov ensured that his duties were in good hands and he handed them over to Drew Feustel from NASA. Now, the remaining people on the ISS are Feustel, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, and NASA’s Ricky Arnold.
In such situations, it is expected that the weather may somehow interfere and make the landing more difficult, but this was not the case with Soyuz MS-07, as the weather was sunny, with clear skies, which made the capsule to land upright.
Recovery helicopters circled the area during the landing and helped the crew to get out of the spacecraft. Shkaplerov was the first one to be pulled out of the capsule, followed by Tingle and Kanai. The trio was seated in chairs and their legs were covered in blankets.
During their 168-day mission, they worked on a range of scientific experiments and performed a spacewalk in order to mend the robotic arm of the station.
The other three crew members remaining on the ISS are expected to be joined in a few days by three new astronauts – NASA’s Serena Aunon-Chancellor, European Space Agency’s Alexander Gerst, and Roscosmos’s Sergey Prokopyev. They will leave Earth on June 6th, 2018.