3 crew members of ISS-64 expedition return to Earth safely

The International Space Station Expedition (ISS-64) three-member crew returned to Earth safely on a Soyuz MS-17 crewed ship descent vehicle on April 17, 2021, landing at a precalculated point in Kazakhstan.

The crew landed safely under parachutes at 10:55am Kazakhstan time), southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

The crew lived and worked on the ISS for six months, conducting experiments, and comprised Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins.

According to the Russian space agency Roscosmos, all descent operations and landing went normally and the crew is feeling well.

It was the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov.

Rubins will return to her home in Houston, while Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to their homes and training base in Star City, Russia.

ISS-64
(L-R) Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov. Credit: Roscosmos

The ISS-65 crew, consisting of Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Mark Vande Hei and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, is currently working on board the orbiting laboratory.

Shortly before his return, Sergey Ryzhikov handed over the ISS command to Shannon Walker.

Walker will lead the crew until the departure of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience on April 28, 2021 when command of the ISS will be handed over to JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.

ISS-65 crew

The orbiting ISS-65 crew will be joined on April 22, 2021, by NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and JAXA’s Akihiko Hoshide, who will head to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission.

Crew-2 will be the second long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Programme, launching humans from American soil.

In November 2020, the ISS surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help humans prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth.

To date, 243 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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