Three Member ISS Crew Returns to Earth; Another Crew to Launch Soon.

Russian spacecraft, the Soyuz MS-07, is making its way to Earth. The spacecraft carrying three crew members of the Expedition 54/55 has undocked from the International Space Station on June 3. The Russian Control Center announced this on Sunday.

The crew included NASA’s astronaut Scott Tingle, Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, and Russian Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplekov. The spacecraft will begin deorbiting maneuvering at 2:48 pm Moscow time. The crew had managed to swap command before the three-member team returned to Earth. 

Cosmonaut Anton Shkaplekov has been leading the crew at the ISS since February this year. He has handed over to astronaut Andrew Feustel in a short change of command ceremony. 

The Soyuz MS-07 will land near Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan at 3:41 pm Moscow time. ISS will welcome new crew members; Serena Aunon, a United States astronaut, German astronaut Alexander Gerst, and Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev. The new crew members will join the remaining crew at the ISS on June 6. The new crew members include The new crew members will travel aboard Russia’s Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. 

The Soyuz MS-09 will launch at 7:12 am on June 6, and it will dock at 9:07 am on June 8. 

Russia conducted a check on the land area for the new crew. Two Russian military helicopters checked to make sure the area is free of wildfires, machines, water, or any other obstacle. 

An update on the landing indicates that the crew has landed safely in Kazakhstan. They spent 168 days at the ISS, and they conducted several kinds of research. One important study is the materials testing. This research will benefit a wide variety of industries including space, aeronautics, Micro Meteoroid On-Orbit Debris, automotive, energy, and transportation. The also conducted tests on zero gravity, vacuum, extreme temperatures, radiation exposure, UV radiation, and atomic oxygen.

The crew also a bone marrow study on adipose reaction. This research can help address issues of spaceflight anemia, a situation related to long duration spaceflights. This study can also be applied to the effects encountered by people with reduced mobility, and prolonged bed stays due to health issues. They also conducted researches on plants growth in space. 

Scott Tingle and Kanai have also worked outside of the ISS and have spacewalked during their time at the ISS. 

NASA’s astronaut Andrew Feustel, Richard Arnold also a NASA astronaut, and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev are still at the ISS since their time is not due.