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Soyuz spacecraft landing: 3 ISS crew back on earth after 125 days at ISS

Written on:November 19, 2023
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Soyuz capsule has helped global astronauts touch the orbiting laboratory since the US shuttle fleet was decommissioned

After a 125-day stay at the International Space Station (ISS), three international astronauts landed in central Kazakhstan on Monday aboard a Soyuz capsule. The three astronauts were NASA’s Sunita Williams, Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan’s JAXA space agency. The landing occurred northeast of the town of Arkalyk.

The capsule didn’t dive into the precise planned touchdown site on account of a minimal delay in procedures. Thus, a ‘search and rescue’ squad was dispatched by eight helicopters to the eventual touchdown site to help the crew of the capsule as the weather conditions were frosty.

The Soyuz capsule is the only way for global astronauts to reach the orbiting laboratory since the decommissioning of the US shuttle fleet in 2011.

Sunita Williams, Hoshide and Malenchenko undocked from the International Space Station on Sunday at 1023 GMT to start their return to the earth.

Meanwhile, another three astronauts remain onboard the International Space Station and are to be joined in December by NASA’s Tom Marshburn, Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, and Russian astronaut, Roman Romanenko.

Approximately 28 minutes before touchdown, the three modules of the Soyuz craft separated, leaving the capsule to commence its entry into the orbit. The capsule has a height of nearly 2.1 metres.

Subsequent to touchdown, the recovery squad rapidly placed the capsule crew onto reclining chairs. Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide were wrapped in blankets to protect them from the -11 Celsius degree temperature.

The reclining chairs are meant to provide the astronauts with comfortable acclimatisation. This is essential as the astronauts reside for months in gravity-free conditions.

The astronauts, who were experiencing chilly bare fingers, appeared to have been in stable physical condition after their landing.

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