Outgoing space station commander Shane Kimbrough and two Russian crewmates returned to Earth on Monday, riding a Soyuz capsule in a bubble of hot plasma to a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan. The trio undocked from the space station at 0757 GMT (3:57 a.m. EDT) and landed on the Kazakh steppe at 1120 GMT (7:20 a.m. EDT) Monday.
Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese flight engineer Takuya Onishi and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins departed the International Space Station on Saturday and headed for a homecoming in Kazakhstan to wrap up a 115-day expedition in orbit. Undocking occurred at 8:35 p.m. EDT Saturday (0035 GMT Sunday), with an on-target landing more than three hours later at 11:58 p.m. EDT (0358 GMT).
In a rapid-fire crew rotation, a NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are packing up for the trip back to Earth Saturday, leaving the International Space Station just eight days after the arrival of another three-person crew and three weeks before their own replacements arrive to boost the lab’s crew back to six.