Saturday, September 25, 2010

Space Station Crew Safely Back On Earth After Textbook Return

Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut are back on terra firma today after a half-year tour of duty on the International Space Station.

Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell-Dyson arrived on the central steppes of Kazakhstan after a three-hour trip from the international outpost. The landing at 1:23 a.m. ended a 176-day expedition in low Earth orbit.

Skvortsov was at the controls as the Expedition 24 crew pulled away from the station just after 10 p.m. and then executed a deorbit burn about 12:30 a.m.

The reentry went by the book and clear skies, light winds and temperatures in the high 40s greeted the returning crew.

"A bulls-eye landing for the Soyuz," NASA flight commentator Rob Navias said.

An initial attempt to depart the station late Thursday was scrapped after hooks and latches securing the spacecraft at the station failed to open. Jumper cables were installed to bypass a faulty electrical circuit.

U.S. astronaut Douglas Wheelock now is in command of the station. Onboard with him are U.S. astronaut Shannon Walker and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.


Anonymous said...

Comrade, you can't just put the gear shift lever in the "R" position. You have to release the parking brake!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a Yank teaching a comrade how to drive his own vehicle.