Two crewmen returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Friday, riding a Russian Soyuz spaceship to a parachute-assisted, rocket-cushioned landing in Kazakhstan to close out more than 196 days in orbit. Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet undocked from the station at 1047 GMT (6:47 a.m. EDT) and landed in Kazakhstan at 1410 GMT (10:10 a.m. EDT).
NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, have agreed to extend astronaut Peggy Whitson’s stay aboard the International Space Station by three months to enable uninterrupted research aboard the orbital laboratory during a period when Russia is temporarily reducing its crew complement, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, French-born European Space Agency flight engineer Thomas Pesquet and veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson put on their Sokol spacesuits, boarded their Soyuz capsule and blasted into orbit Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Check out photos of their launch day activities.
By the light of a waning moon, a Russian rocket carrying a veteran cosmonaut, a French flight engineer making his first flight and America’s most experienced female astronaut blasted off and streaked smoothly into orbit Thursday, the first step in a two-day rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Three new residents completed the final leg of their pursuit of the International Space Station, with docking to the complex at 2158 GMT (4:58 p.m. EST) Saturday, two days after blastoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule carrying the U.S.-Russian-French crew linked up with the research lab’s Rassvet module.