A three-member space crew returned to Earth just after sunrise Thursday in Kazakhstan, descending through a sun-splashed sky under an orange and white parachute before dipping through fog for a rocket-cushioned touchdown on the snowy steppes of Central Asia.
Three space station fliers — the outgoing NASA commander and two Russian cosmonauts — undocked and returned to Earth Wednesday, ending a 167-day stay in space with a communications blackout that left the crew out of contact with flight controllers during much of the trip home.
Three crew members departed the International Space Station on Wednesday and descended back to Earth, touching down in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-14M capsule at 10:08 p.m. EDT (0208 GMT Thursday).
Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. Navy test pilot will buckle into custom-molded seats inside a Soyuz spaceship Wednesday, undock from the International Space Station and head for a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan to close out a 167-day space voyage.
NASA has ordered four additional launches to deliver cargo to the International Space Station in 2017 — three from SpaceX and one from Orbital ATK — to cover the research lab’s logistics needs until a new set of resupply contracts take effect.
Astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Terry Virts floated outside the International Space Station Saturday and installed wiring needed for two new docking mechanisms that will be attached later this year for use by Boeing and SpaceX crew capsules.
Astronauts Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts suited up and ventured outside the International Space Station on Sunday on their third spacewalk in eight days to install equipment to help future commercial crew capsules built by Boeing and SpaceX navigate to the complex.
NASA space station managers decided Thursday to delay the first two of three planned spacewalks by one day to give flight controllers and engineers a chance to catch their collective breath after exhaustive troubleshooting to verify the health of critical internal spacesuit components.