Wrapping up a record-setting flight, Peggy Whitson, America’s most experienced astronaut with nearly two years of time in orbit across three missions, returned to Earth Saturday after a 288-day stay aboard the International Space Station, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan with Soyuz MS-04 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Jack Fischer.
A Russian Soyuz crew ferry craft departed the International Space Station and descended to an on-target landing in Kazakhstan on Saturday with a record-setting NASA astronaut, a veteran Russian cosmonaut and a former U.S. Air Force test pilot on-board. Undocking from the orbiting research complex occurred at 2158 GMT (5:58 p.m. EDT), with touchdown at 0121 GMT (9:21 p.m. EDT).
Peggy Whitson, America’s most experienced astronaut with nearly two years in orbit over three missions, returns to Earth Saturday after an extended 288-day stay aboard the International Space Station, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan with Soyuz MS-04 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA flight engineer Jack Fischer.
Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, on his fifth trip into space, and rookie NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, a Colorado native, blasted off aboard a Soyuz booster at 0713 GMT (3:13 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, heading for the International Space Station for a four-and-a-half month expedition. The duo docked with the orbiting outpost at 1318 GMT (9:18 a.m. EDT).
Just 10 days after three space station fliers returned to Earth — and two days after launch of a station-bound supply ship — a veteran four-flight cosmonaut and an enthusiastic NASA rookie were cleared for launch Thursday to boost the lab’s crew up to five — one less than usual because of cost cutting by the Russian space agency.