Three new residents completed the final leg of their pursuit of the International Space Station, with docking to the complex at 2158 GMT (4:58 p.m. EST) Saturday, two days after blastoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule carrying the U.S.-Russian-French crew linked up with the research lab’s Rassvet module.
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.