Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are making final preparations for return to Earth Tuesday evening, closing out a record 340-day stay aboard the International Space Station where they served as medical test subjects to learn more about the long-term effects of weightlessness, space radiation and isolation.
Two veteran cosmonauts ventured outside the International Space Station Wednesday, swapped out materials science space exposure samples, installed handrails needed for future spacewalks and tested an applicator and thin-film coatings that could prove useful reconditioning aged or damaged hull panels.
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft streaked into orbit Wednesday carrying a crew of three on a two-day flight to the International Space Station. Their mission: to deliver a fresh ferry craft to the lab complex that will be needed next March to carry two station crew members back to Earth after nearly a year in orbit.
Wrapping up a busy week on the International Space Station, a crew of three boarded their Soyuz landing craft and headed for Earth on Friday. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, the most experienced space crewman in history, was at the controls, along with Danish and Kazakh crew members, and landed in Kazakhstan at 8:51 p.m. EDT Friday (0051 GMT Saturday).