Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rocket Firing Sends ISS Crew Toward Home

Two Russian cosmonauts and an American asronaut are plunging back through the atmosphere tonight, making a return to Earth after a six-month tour or duty on the International Space Station.

Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyav kept up a constant commentary as braking rockets fired for four minutes and 14 seconds as the spacecraft crossed over the southern tip of South America, heading out over the southern Atlantic Ocean toward the east coast of Europe.

Riding with him: Outgoing station commander Andrey Borisenko and U.S. astronaut Ron Garan.

Recovery forces in aircraft and helicopters are circling a landing zone in south-central Kazakhstan.

Landing is scheduled at midnight.

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