Trio of astronauts safely return to Earth after 6 months in area

MOSCOW — A trio of area vacationers safely returned to Earth on Thursday after a six-month mission on the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-16 capsule carrying NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan southeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan at 7:54 a.m. Thursday. After a quick medical checkup, the three can be taken by helicopters to Dzhezkazgan from the place they may depart residence.

Cassidy will board a NASA aircraft again to Houston, whereas Vagner and Ivanishin will fly residence to Star Metropolis, Russia.

The crew smiled as they talked to masked members of the restoration group, and NASA and Roscosmos reported that they had been in good situation.

As a part of extra precautions because of the coronavirus, the rescue group members assembly the crew had been examined for the virus and the variety of folks concerned within the restoration effort was restricted.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner spent 196 days in orbit, having arrived on the station on April 9. They left behind NASA’s Kate Rubins and Roscosmos’ Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, who arrived on the orbiting outpost per week in the past for a six-month keep.

Cassidy, getting back from his third area mission, has now spent a complete of 378 days in area, the fifth-highest amongst U.S. astronauts.

Whereas serving because the station’s commander, Cassidy welcomed SpaceX Demo-2 crew Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the primary NASA astronauts to launch to the area station on an American spacecraft from American soil for the reason that retirement of the area shuttle fleet in 2011.

Cassidy and Behnken accomplished 4 spacewalks for a complete of 23 hours and 37 minutes, changing into two of solely 4 U.S. astronauts to finish 10 spacewalks.

Earlier than the crew’s departure, Russian cosmonauts had been capable of quickly seal the air leak they tried to find for a number of months. The small leak has posed no fast hazard to the station’s crew, and Roscosmos engineers have been engaged on a everlasting seal.

In November, Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are anticipated to greet NASA’s SpaceX first operational Crew Dragon mission comprising NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

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