Outgoing space station commander Randy Bresnik, joined by Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and European Space Agency flight engineer Paolo Nespoli, returned to Earth early Thursday after nearly five months in orbit. Their Soyuz MS-05 capsule undocked from the International Space Station at 12:14 a.m. EST (0514 GMT), and landed on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 3:37 a.m. EST (0837 GMT).
A commercial cargo craft owned and operated by Orbital ATK wrapped up a two-day journey to the International Space Station on Tuesday, delivering ice cream and pizza for the lab’s six-person crew and hardware for a slew of research experiments, including CubeSats slated for orbital deployments in the coming weeks.
Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
Three fresh crew members lifted off at 1541 GMT (11:41 a.m. EDT) Friday on a six-hour trip to the International Space Station, riding a Soyuz spaceship from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio hails from Russia, the United States and Italy and boosted the station’s crew back to a full complement of six. Docking occurred at 2154 GMT (5:54 p.m. EDT).
Launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft Friday carrying three fresh crew members to the International Space Station will boost the lab’s crew back to six and, most important from NASA’s perspective, dramatically boost research with four crew members — three NASA astronauts and a veteran European flier — available to operate experiments in the American segment of the laboratory.