Shane Kimbrough, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Andrey Borisenko of Expedition 50 are now safely back on earth with a parachute landing in an open field.
Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA is among three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) who returned to Earth Monday, after 173 days in space, landing in Kazakhstan at approximately 7:20 a.m. EDT (5:20 p.m. Kazakhstan time).
Also returning were Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The three touched down southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.
Kimbrough now has spent 189 days in space on two flights. Borisenko now has 337 days in space on two flights. Ryzhikov logged 173 days in space on his first flight.
Expedition 51 continues operating the station, with NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in command. Along with her crewmates Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), the three-person crew will operate the station until the arrival of two new crew members. NASA’s Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch Thursday, April 20 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Earlier in the day, the crew aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spaceship undocked from the International Space Station:
Astronaut Shane Kimbrough of NASA and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 3:57 a.m. EDT to begin their journey home.
Ryzhikov, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. Borisenko is seated in the left seat of the Soyuz descent module and Kimbrough is in the right seat.
The crew is scheduled to land at 7:21 a.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
As the Soyuz MS-02 undocked, Expedition 51 officially began under the command of NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. She and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), will operate the station until the arrival of two new crew members later this month.
Follow @space_station on Twitter for updates. For more information about the International Space Station, visit www.nasa.gov/station.
The preparations for the earth return ended with the closing of the hatch doors to Soyuz MS-02:
At 12:45 a.m. EDT, hatches were closed between the International Space Station and the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft. Expedition 50 crew members Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos are preparing to undock at 3:57 a.m. NASA Television will provide coverage beginning at 3:30 a.m.
The deorbit burn is targeted for 6:28 a.m. and will lead to a landing at 7:21 a.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. NASA TV coverage of deorbit and landing began at 6 a.m.
The return of Expedition 50 wraps up 173 days in space for the crew since their launch last October.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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