Soyuz spacecraft lands in Kazakhstan after ISS stint

27 Apr 2012

Flight surgeons carry a Soyuz crew member after the Russian spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan. Image by NASA

The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft has returned safely from the International Space Station, with its three crew members. The spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan today at 7.45am EDT, having undocked from the International Space Station at 4.18am.

Soyuz was carrying Commander Dan Burbank and flight engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin.

The trio arrived at the International Space Station (!SS) on 16 November and spent five and a half months conducting research and exploration while there.

NASA said the Soyuz performed a deorbit burn at 6:49am before the descent module separated from the rest of the Russian spacecraft and entered the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Soyuz deployed several parachutes to slow its descent and then fired three small engines to ease its landing.

Flight surgeons are now monitoring the three crew members.

Meanwhile, Commander Oleg Kononenko and flight engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers will continue their stay aboard the ISS until 1 July.

Flight engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin are set to join the other flight engineers in mid-May. They will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 15 May.

The three crewmates are completing their mission training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Once they arrive at the ISS, they are planning to stay there until 17 September.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic