A Russian Soyuz spacecraft streaked into orbit Wednesday carrying a crew of three on a two-day flight to the International Space Station. Their mission: to deliver a fresh ferry craft to the lab complex that will be needed next March to carry two station crew members back to Earth after nearly a year in orbit.
Wrapping up a busy week on the International Space Station, a crew of three boarded their Soyuz landing craft and headed for Earth on Friday. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, the most experienced space crewman in history, was at the controls, along with Danish and Kazakh crew members, and landed in Kazakhstan at 8:51 p.m. EDT Friday (0051 GMT Saturday).
A workhorse Soyuz booster thundered to life and climbed into a dark Kazakh sky Friday, carrying NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko on a four-orbit voyage to the International Space Station to kick off a marathon 342-day mission, the longest flight ever attempted by an American.