Touchdown! Three Multinational Crewmates Return to Earth

Touchdown! Three Multinational Crewmates Return to Earth

NASA astronaut Nick Hague returned to Earth from the International Space Station Thursday, alongside station commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The crew landed safely in Kazakhstan at 6:59 a.m. EDT (4:59 p.m. local time).

 Hague and Ovchinin launched on March 14, along with fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch, and arrived at the space station just six hours later to begin their 203-day mission, during which they orbited Earth 3,248 times, traveling 86.1 million miles. Koch remains aboard the orbiting laboratory for an extended mission that will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman in preparation for human missions to the Moon and Mars.

For Almansoori this landing completed an eight-day stay on board the station that covered 128 orbits of Earth and 3.1 million miles since launching Sept. 25 with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos. Almansoori made history as he became the first person from the UAE to fly in space his mission as the first astronaut from the UAE.

After post-landing medical checks, Hague will return to Houston, and Ovchinin and Almansoori will return to Star City, Russia.

 The Expedition 60 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, including investigations into devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument to measure Earth’s distribution of carbon dioxide.

Hague conducted three spacewalks during his mission, totaling 19 hours and 56 minutes. Ovchinin conducted one spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 1 minute during his mission.

Hague’s first two spacewalks in March continued the overall upgrade of the station’s power system with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries for the power channel on one pair of the station’s solar arrays. During his third spacewalk, he and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan successfully installed the second of two international docking adapters that Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial crew spacecraft will use to connect to the space station.

Hague completes his second flight in space totaling 203 days, while Ovchinin has now spent 375 days in space during three flights. Hague and Ovchinin flew together on an abbreviated mission in October 2018, cut short by a technical problem that triggered an ascent abort minutes after launch and a safe landing back on Earth.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

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Multinational Trio Undocks from Station, Heads Home to Earth

Multinational Trio Undocks from Station, Heads Home to Earth

The Soyuz MS-12 crew ship with three crewmembers inside
The Soyuz MS-12 crew ship with three multinational crewmembers inside is pictured before undocking from the station’s Rassvet module. Credit: NASA TV

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying three people back to Earth from space undocked as scheduled from the International Space Station at 3:37 a.m. EDT.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Nick Hague, Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates are expected to land in their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan on the Kazakhstan steppe about 7 a.m.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 61 began aboard the space station under the command of ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano. The crew consisting of NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan as well as cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos will continue work aboard the orbiting laboratory on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.

NASA will resume coverage of Hague, Ovchinin and Almansoori’s landing back on Earth on TV and online at 5:30 a.m., with the deorbit burn scheduled at 6:06 a.m.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

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Homebound Crew Boards Soyuz Crew Ship, Closes Hatch

Homebound Crew Boards Soyuz Crew Ship, Closes Hatch

The homecoming crew waves farewell
The homecoming crew waves farewell before boarding their Soyuz MS-12 crew ship. From left are, NASA astronaut Nick Hague, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emriates.

At 12:20 a.m. EDT, the hatch closed between the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking scheduled for 3:37 a.m.

Two members of Expedition 60 – NASA astronaut and Flight Engineer Nick Hague and Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos – and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates are expected to land back on Earth at 7 a.m.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the undocking beginning at 3 a.m.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

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NASA TV Broadcasts Crew Farewell and Spacecraft Hatch Closure

NASA TV Broadcasts Crew Farewell and Spacecraft Hatch Closure

The homecoming crew
The homecoming crew with (from left) NASA astronaut Nick Hague, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emriates.

NASA is providing live coverage on NASA TV and the agency’s website as three people aboard the International Space Station prepare to close the hatches between the station and their spacecraft in preparation for their return to Earth from space. Hatch closure is expected at 12:15 a.m. EDT.

After closing the hatch to their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft, NASA astronaut and Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Nick Hague, Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates will prepare to undock from the station’s Rassvet module at 3:37 a.m. for their landing in Kazakhstan at 7 a.m.

Hague and Ovchinin, along with fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch, launched and arrived at the space station on March 14 to begin their 203-day mission. The Expedition 60 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, including investigations into devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument to measure Earth’s distribution of carbon dioxide.

Almansoori, the first astronaut from the UAE, is concluding an eight-day stay on board the station since launching Sept. 25 with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Mark Garcia

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Station Swaps Commanders Before Crew Departure and Spacewalks

Station Swaps Commanders Before Crew Departure and Spacewalks

The nine International Space Station residents pose for a portrait
The nine International Space Station residents pose for a portrait inside the Zvezda service module. At the bottom row from left are, station cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, astronauts Luca Parmitano and Nick Hague, visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates, astronaut Jessica Meir and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka. At the top are, astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan with cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.

Two Expedition 60 crewmates and a visiting astronaut are returning to Earth on Thursday. The orbiting Expedition 61 residents staying on the International Space Station will then turn their attention to a series of spacewalks set to begin this weekend.

Commander Alexey Ovchinin handed over control of the orbiting complex today to astronaut Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) during the change of command ceremony. The Expedition 61 mission will officially begin when the three Expedition 60 crewmates depart the station.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague is returning to Earth with Ovchinin and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates. The trio will board the Soyuz MS-12 crew ship and undock from the station’s Rassvet module on Thursday at 3:36 a.m. EDT. They will parachute to landing in Kazakhstan at 7 a.m. (5 p.m. Kazakh time).

There was still time for research today as NASA Flight Engineer Andrew Morgan took turns with Parmitano exploring cognition and motion in space. Morgan also installed the Small Optical Communication System, or SOLISS, that is testing the real-time downlink of large amounts of data from the station.

The first of five spacewalks to upgrade power systems on the orbital complex starts Sunday at 7:50 a.m. NASA astronaut Christina Koch will join Morgan and exit the station’s Quest airlock in their U.S. spacesuits to begin installing new lithium-ion batteries on the Port-6 truss structure. The duo will work outside in the vacuum of space for about six hours and 30 minutes.

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Mark Garcia

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