0305 GMT (11:05 p.m. EDT on Wed.)
All three crew members have been extracted from the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and appear in good health following their five-and-a-half month mission.
0212 GMT (10:12 p.m. EDT on Wed.)
Landing confirmed! The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft has landed amid fog, returning Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and Butch Wilmore to Earth after 167 days off the planet.
0159 GMT (9:59 p.m. EDT on Wed.)
Russian recovery forces are in contact with the crew as the Soyuz descends under its main parachute. No problems reported.
0150 GMT (9:50 p.m. EDT on Wed.)
After a successful de-orbit burn, the Soyuz landing capsule has separated from the disposable propulsion and habitation modules and should now be falling through the atmosphere. But the crew is out of voice communication with the ground right now.
0100 GMT (9:00 p.m. EDT on Wed.)
Everything is on track for the landing of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft at 10:07:53 p.m. EDT (0207:53 GMT), with the start of the capsule's deorbit burn expected at 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT).
The deorbit burn is programmed to last four minutes and 41 seconds to slow the spacecraft's velocity by 286 mph, enough for the Soyuz to drop in altitude and be captured by Earth's atmosphere for re-entry.
Just before it falls into the atmosphere, the Soyuz spacecraft's three modules will separate at 9:42 p.m. EDT (0142 GMT). The orbital habitation and service modules will burn up during re-entry, while the landing section containing Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and Butch Wilmore is protected by a heat shield.
Altitude of the Soyuz spacecraft at module separation will be about 86 miles, or just shy of 140 kilometers.
The Soyuz spacecraft will reach the top of the discernable atmosphere at 9:45 p.m. EDT (0145 GMT). The crew members will experience maximum g-forces at 9:51 p.m. EDT (0151 GMT).
The Soyuz will issue the command to open parachutes at 9:53 p.m. EDT (0153 GMT), beginning a nearly 15-minute descent to the steppes of Kazakhstan southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan.
A set of so-called "soft landing rockets" will fire just above the ground to further cushion the impact of landing.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2015
2247 GMT (6:47 p.m. EDT)
The 15-second separation firing by the Soyuz's thrusters has been completed to accelerate the spacecraft's departure from the International Space Station. The capsule will be nearly 8 miles away when it performs the deorbit burn today at 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT). Touchdown is scheduled for 10:07:53 p.m. EDT (0207:53 GMT).
The undocking occurred as the spacecraft flew 258 miles over Mongolia.
2244 GMT (6:44 p.m. EDT)
UNDOCKING. The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft has separated from the space station after 167 days there, setting the stage for today's return to Earth with Soyuz commander Alexander Samokutyaev, flight engineer Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore.
2243 GMT (6:43 p.m. EDT)
The undocking command has been issued. Hooks and latches holding the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and the station's Poisk module tightly together are being opened now.
2215 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT)
The homeward-bound crew has worked together for the past couple of hours to power up the Soyuz, activate the craft's systems, remove docking clamps, depressurize the vestibule between the capsule and station, and don their Sokol spacesuits. Undocking is set for 6:44 p.m. EDT (2244 GMT).
1940 GMT (3:40 p.m. EDT)
The crew has boarded the Soyuz spacecraft for this evening's journey from the International Space Station to the landing site in Kazakhstan.
Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and Butch Wilmore will put on their Sokol launch and entry spacesuits over the next few hours before undocking of the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft at 6:44 p.m. EDT (22244 GMT). Landing is scheduled just before 10:08 p.m. EDT (0208 GMT Thursday).
TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 2015
Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. Navy test pilot will buckle into custom-molded seats inside a Soyuz spaceship Wednesday, undock from the International Space Station and head for a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan to close out a 167-day space voyage.
The three-person crew will depart the 450-ton research complex at 2244 GMT (6:44 p.m. EDT) Wednesday inside the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft, which will unlatch from the space station’s upward-facing Poisk module on the Russian segment of the outpost.
Soyuz commander Alexander Samokutyaev will be in the center seat of the Soyuz capsule, flanked on the left by board engineer Elena Serova and on the right by Barry “Butch” Wilmore, the outgoing commander of the space station’s Expedition 42 crew.
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