A Russian Soyuz ferry ship carrying a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts undocked from the International Space Station early Thursday, flew a lap around the 20-year-old outpost for a photo survey and then plunged back to Earth, making a pinpoint landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to wrap up a 197-day stay in space.
Two U.S. astronauts flanked a veteran Russian cosmonaut Thursday for a ride back to Earth from the International Space Station. The trio undocked from the station in their Soyuz spacecraft at 0757 GMT (3:57 a.m. EDT), beginning a return flight that culminated in a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 1145 GMT (7:45 a.m. EDT).
A cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts finished packing up their Soyuz ferry ship Wednesday and prepared to undock from the International Space Station early Thursday for a fiery descent to touchdown on the steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 197-day mission that included four spacewalks, a full slate of research and an emergency leak repair.
The head of the Russian space agency caused a stir last week when he said a hole drilled through the side of a Soyuz ferry ship docked to the International Space Station was the result of a deliberate act, “either on Earth or in space.” Station commander Drew Feustel said Tuesday it most certainly did not happen in orbit.
Two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Thursday and installed two new cameras on the front of the lab complex that will provide views of commercial crew ships during final approach and docking. The spacewalkers also replaced a faulty high-definition camera and closed a door that was jammed open on an external instrument.
Two newly arrived space station astronauts, both veteran spacewalkers, suited up and ventured outside the lab complex Thursday to install additional wireless communications gear, to replace a balky camera and its pan-and-tilt mechanism and to remove two suspect hoses in the station’s ammonia coolant system.