One week after two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut arrived on the Worldwide House Station for a six-month keep, the three crew members they’re changing packed up their Soyuz spacecraft for a fiery plunge again to Earth Wednesday night to shut out a 196-day mission.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, the outgoing commander of Expedition 63, turned the station over to cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov Tuesday, handing him a ceremonial “key” to the lab advanced. Ryzhikov, Sergei Kud-Sverchkov and Kate Rubins arrived on the station final Wednesday aboard their very own Soyuz ferry ship.

Throughout a change-of-command ceremony Tuesday, outgoing house station commander Chris Cassidy, entrance left, turned the lab over to cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, entrance proper. Cassidy deliberate to return to Earth Wednesday night time with cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, center left, and Ivan Vagner, again left. Ryzhikov and his two crewmates — Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, center proper, and Kate Rubins, again proper, arrived on the station final week.


“Expedition 63 has passed by tremendous quick,” stated Cassidy, a former Navy SEAL. “We joke round that there is solely Mondays and Fridays and it is a large blur of time between.”

Cassidy’s departure comes lower than two weeks earlier than the twentieth anniversary of the primary station crew’s arrival on November 2, 2000. Since then, the lab has been repeatedly staffed by rotating worldwide astronaut-cosmonaut crews.

In a tweet Tuesday, Cassidy famous the lab’s first commander was additionally a veteran SEAL.

“Twenty years in the past my astro-SEAL mentor, Captain Invoice Shepherd, assumed command of Expedition 1,” Cassidy stated. “Now we’re book-ending these 20 years of manned ISS operations with @us_navyseals astronauts in house.”

Cassidy, Soyuz MS-16/62S commander Anatoly Ivanishin and flight engineer Ivan Vagner have been launched to the station on April 9. They deliberate to undock at 7:32 p.m. EDT Wednesday to start the three-and-a-half hour journey again to Earth and a touchdown on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

“Mama, I am coming dwelling!” Vagner tweeted.

After donning their strain fits and shifting a protected distance away from the station, the Soyuz crew deliberate to observe an automatic 4-minute 40-second rocket firing beginning at 10 p.m., slowing the ship by about 286 mph to drop the far facet of the orbit into the ambiance.

Twenty 5 minutes later, the Soyuz spacecraft’s central crew module was anticipated to slam into the discernible ambiance at an altitude of about 62 miles, enduring the scorching warmth of re-entry earlier than deploying a big parachute and setting to landing close to the city of Dzhezkazgan at 10:55 p.m. (8:55 a.m. Thursday native time).

As at all times, Russian restoration forces, flight surgeons and NASA personnel have been deployed close to the touchdown website to assist the station fliers out of their cramped descent module as they start re-adjusting to the unfamiliar tug of gravity after 196 days 4 hours and 13 minutes off the planet.

After a fast spherical of medical checks, the crew was to be flown by helicopter to Dzhezkazgan the place Cassidy deliberate to board a ready NASA jet for the lengthy flight again to Houston. Ivanishin and Vagner have been anticipated to move for Star Metropolis close to Moscow.

The Soyuz MS-16/62S crew throughout a ultimate examine of their ferry ship: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, left, car commander Anatoly Ivanishin, middle, and flight engineer Ivan Vagner.


Together with two earlier flights, Cassidy’s complete time in house will complete 378 days, shifting him as much as fifth on the checklist of most skilled NASA astronauts. Ivanishin, additionally finishing his third flight, can have logged 476 days in house whereas Vagner was finishing his first house flight.

Throughout their keep aboard the house lab, Cassidy’s crew welcomed three unpiloted cargo ships, one Soyuz crew — Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins — and the primary piloted SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken.

Cassidy accomplished 4 spacewalks throughout his time aloft, totaling 23 hours and 37 minutes, pushing his general complete to just about 55 hours throughout 10 excursions.

Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins can have the station to themselves till mid November when NASA plans to launch a three-man one-woman crew to the lab aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon ferry ship, boosting the station’s crew to seven.

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