Outgoing space station commander Randy Bresnik, joined by Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and European Space Agency flight engineer Paolo Nespoli, returned to Earth early Thursday after nearly five months in orbit. Their Soyuz MS-05 capsule undocked from the International Space Station at 12:14 a.m. EST (0514 GMT), and landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 3:37 a.m. EST (0837 GMT).
After a 22-day stay at the International Space Station, an Orbital ATK Cygnus supply ship is set for departure Wednesday en route to a higher orbit for release of 14 CubeSats for commercial weather monitoring and technology demonstrations. The robotic Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for release from the station’s robotic arm at 8:10 a.m. EST (1310 GMT) Wednesday.
A commercial cargo craft owned and operated by Orbital ATK wrapped up a two-day journey to the International Space Station on Tuesday, delivering ice cream and pizza for the lab’s six-person crew and hardware for a slew of research experiments, including CubeSats slated for orbital deployments in the coming weeks.
Staging NASA’s third spacewalk in 15 days, two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Friday and installed a new high definition camera, replaced a degraded camera on a recently attached robot arm grapple fixture, finished lubricating the mechanism and carried out a variety of other “get-ahead” tasks.