Watch 2 Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut return from their visit to the International Space Station
- Two Russian cosmonauts and one
NASAastronaut have returned from the International Space Station.
- Their six-month trip was marked by scientific experiments and crossovers with other astronaut crews.
- Watch NASA's footage of the
SoyuzMS-17 spacecraft touching down on Saturday.
A six-month journey on board the International Space Station has come to a close for two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut: The three crew members returned safely to Earth amid clear skies at nearly 1:00 a.m. ET on Saturday.
The crew departed for the space station on October 14, 2020, inside a Russian spacecraft called Soyuz MS-17. Their landing marked the end of Expedition 64, or the 64th long-duration expedition to the ISS.In total, the crew completed around 2,960 orbits of Earth.
As soon as the crew landed, Russian search and rescue teams rushed to help them exit. The crew's commander, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, was first out of the spacecraft, followed by the two flight engineers: NASA astronaut
Rubins is now set to fly home to Houston, Texas. Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to their homes in Star City, Russia.
Soyuz MS-17's departure will make room for new astronauts on the ISSExpedition 64 marked the first time on board the ISS for Kud-Sverchkov, but the second time for Rubins and Ryzhikov. Rubins, a microbiologist, became the first person to sequence DNA in space in 2016. She continued her DNA sequencing work during this latest mission, with the ultimate goal of helping
Rubins also completed two spacewalks, grew radishes in orbit, and snapped photos of Hurricane Zeta as it neared Louisiana. To top it off, she studied how changes in gravity affect cardiovascular cells - research that could provide clues about heart problems on Earth.
Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov also conducted hundreds of scientific experiments on board the space station.The crew had some company as well: NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts joined them in November and will stay until late April. That team consists of three NASA astronauts -commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker - as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Walker is now the station commander of Expedition 65, which began Friday.
Another Russian spacecraft, Soyuz MS-18, arrived at the ISS on April 9 with two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut on board.NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 is set to take off for the space station next Thursday, April 22, bringing the total number of people on board to 11. At most, the ISS has held 13 people at once.
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