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.
The Japanese space agency has delayed the planned Sept. 30 launch of an HTV space station cargo ship to repair a leak in the vehicle, clearing the way for Orbital ATK to slip the launch of its Cygnus supply ship from Aug. 22 to the second half of September to complete tests and analysis of its re-engined Antares rocket, officials said Wednesday.
Japan’s doomed Hitomi observatory peeled back a veil on the inner workings of the Perseus cluster of galaxies before the satellite spun out of control earlier this year, revealing in unprecedented detail how gas heated to millions of degrees behaves around an unseen supermassive black hole, scientists said Wednesday.
Two days after blasting off from Kazakhstan, three new crew members docked with the International Space Station early Saturday to begin nearly four months of scientific experiments and maintenance on the orbiting research outpost. The Soyuz spacecraft linked up with the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:06 a.m. EDT (0406 GMT).