Space trio returns to Earth after six months

24 Octobre, 2020, 18:42 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Space trio returns to Earth after six months

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 town of Dzhezkazgan at 7:54 a.m. (2:54 GMT) Thursday.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner spent 196 days in orbit, having arrived at ISS on April 9. "We consider it an honor to be able to vote from space", she said in a video before she and two Russian cosmonauts launched from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 14. They will undergo preliminary medical checks at the landing site, and then split up to return home.

An American astronaut cast his ballot on Thursday from the International Space Station, which heard his voice in the presidential election despite being 253 miles (408 kilometers) from Earth.

The mission, carried out by tycoon Elon Musk's SpaceX company as part of NASA's commercial Commercial Crew Program, has helped fuel talk of a new "space race" between a number of countries.

Command of the space station was handed over to newly-arrived Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov by Cassidy during a change of command ceremony on Tuesday.

Ivanishin is a seasoned space traveller - over three flights he has spent 476 days in space.

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The 402-kilometre journey back to earth took about three hours and 20 minutes.

Cassidy, returning from his third space mission, has now spent a total of 378 days in space, the fifth highest among U.S. astronauts.

"What is the cost of returning to Earth?" The accomplished astronaut was justified in posing the question as this was not the first time she voted from the space.

"Mama, I'm coming home", the 35-year-old tweeted on Wednesday.

Members recently reported issues with the oxygen production system, a toilet and the oven for preparing food.

"All the systems of the station are working well and there is no danger to the crew or the ISS".

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