(Update: Crew lands) Soyuz spacecraft carrying three cosmonauts undocks from space station for return to Earth
The Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft with three Russian cosmonauts aboard undocked from the International Space Station's Prichal module at 3:34 am ET Thursday to return to Earth. The trio will land in Kazakhstan at approximately 6:57 a.m. (4:57 p.m. local time), concluding a six-month mission that began on March 18, 2022.
The Roscosmos cosmonauts, Commander Oleg Artemyev, Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, will soar through Earth's atmosphere and parachute inside the Soyuz vehicle to a landing in Kazakhstan.
Live coverage of the deorbit burn and landing of the spacecraft will air on NASA TV, the agency's website, and the NASA app at 5:45 a.m.
International Space Station (@Space_Station) September 29, 2022
A day before the crew's departure, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti accepted station command responsibilities from Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, becoming the first European female to occupy the position. She will lead the ISS crew until her departure, planned for October, with fellow SpaceX Dragon Freedom crewmates Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins.
🔔 Ships' bells have been used for centuries in the navies and merchant fleets of the world, whether for signalling, announcing the arrival or departure of a ship, or a change of command. This tradition continues in space... #ICYMI 👉 https://t.co/Oc8dA6MC4P #MissionMinerva pic.twitter.com/sfmCH5drg8— ESA (@esa) September 29, 2022
The Russian crew safely landed on Earth at 6:57 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 29, less than three-and-a-half hours after undocking from the space station.
The trio logged 195 days in space that spanned 3,120 orbits of Earth and over 78 million miles. This was Korsakov and Matveev's first flight and third for Artemyev, who has now logged 561 days in space on his three flights.