After more than six months in orbit, the Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to touch down on Earth on Saturday
“The Soyuz spacecraft is now piercing the atmosphere. For crewmembers Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov, and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, it’s the first time in about six months that they’re feeling the effects of gravity,” tweeted NASA.
The craft departed the International Space Station (ISS) with undocking right on time at 21:34 EDT on Friday, 16 April, reported NASA.
Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and Kate Rubins conducted the final landing preparations before the deorbit burn commenced at 00:01 EDT/04:01 UTC on Saturday, 17 April followed by a landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan at 00:55 EDT/01:55 UTC, NASA reported.
Soyuz is commanded by Sergey Ryzhikov, a veteran Roscosmos cosmonaut who has racked up 358 days in space over the course of two long-duration flights to the ISS.
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov is the only first-time space flyer to launch on Soyuz and served as Flight Engineer 1 aboard the spacecraft.
Kate Rubins of NASA, who has spent 300 days in space over the course of two long-duration flights to the ISS, is Flight Engineer 2 for the Soyuz spacecraft.