Thu, Mar 17, 2011
Two Russians And One American Spent 159 Days In Space
Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly and Russian Flight Engineers
Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka safely landed their Soyuz
spacecraft on the Kazakhstan steppe Wednesday, wrapping up a
five-month stay aboard the International Space Station. Kaleri, the
Soyuz commander, was at the controls of the spacecraft as it
undocked at 0027 EDT from the station's Poisk module. The trio
landed at 0354 EDT (1354 local time) at a site northeast of the
town of Arkalyk.
Working in frigid temperatures, Russian recovery teams were on
hand to help the crew exit the Soyuz and adjust to gravity. Kaleri
and Skripochka will return to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center
in Star City, outside of Moscow, while Kelly will fly directly home
The trio launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 8, 2010. As members of
the Expedition 25 and 26 crews, they spent 159 days in space, 157
of them aboard the station. During their mission, the Expedition 25
and 26 crew members worked on more than 150 microgravity
experiments in human research; biology and biotechnology; physical
and materials sciences; technology development; and Earth and space
A quick succession of international space vehicles arrived on
the station's loading docks during Expedition 26. The Japanese
Kounotori2, or "white stork," H-II Transfer Vehicle 2; the Russian
cargo ship Progress 41; the European Jules Verne Automated Transfer
Vehicle; and space shuttle Discovery delivered more than 11 tons of
supplies necessary for working and living aboard the station.
Kelly has logged more than 180 days in space, and Kaleri has
more than 770. Skripochka has completed his first space mission.
Expedition 27 Commander and Russian Cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev and
Flight Engineers Cady Coleman of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of the
European Space Agency remain aboard the station.
A new trio of Expedition 27 flight engineers, NASA astronaut Ron
Garan and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander
Samokutyaev, will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome no earlier
than March 29.
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