President Trump called the International Space Station Monday for a videochat watched by thousands of school kids, congratulating commander Peggy Whitson on becoming America’s most experienced astronaut and jokingly promising to get Americans to Mars “during my first term or, at worst, during my second term.”
The Soyuz MS-01 capsule safely returns to Earth, bringing back Expedition 49 commander Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian Federal Space Agency, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency after a 115-day mission that spanned 48.6 million miles to the International Space Station.
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.
Space station commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Kate Rubins completed a smooth 6-hour 48-minute spacewalk Thursday, retracting a spare cooling radiator, installing two high-definition TV cameras and inspecting a massive solar array rotation mechanism that has experience subtle vibrations in recent months.