Three cosmonauts from International Space Station land safely in Kazakhstan
11 March 2014, 07:54 -- Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut on Tuesday landed back on Earth in Kazakhstan after a stay of more than half a year aboard the International Space Station, mission control said. Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky and NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins touched down in their Soyuz capsule at 0324 GMT outside Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.
That has been reported by a commentator of the Russian flight control center during a live broadcasting of the landing.
The crew is feeling quite well, the commentator says, referring to an officer of the search and rescue team.
The undocking and landing had initially been postponed due to bad weather but were then allowed to go ahead.
Soyuz spaceship undocks from ISS, heading for Earth
A trio of cosmonauts who have completed a long-term mission at the International Space Station are heading for the Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-10M spaceship, which undocked from the ISS at 03:45 Moscow Standard Time (GMT + 4 hrs) and is due to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 07:24.
"The flight of the Soyuz TMA-10M, which undocked from the ISS at 03:45 is proceeding in a scheduled mode," a spokesman for the Central Ground Control Mission told Itar-Tass.
"Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky and US astronaut Michael Hopkins feel well," the spokesman said.
"The Russian Mikhail Tyurin, the American Richard Mastracchio and the Japanese Koichi Wakata, who are now manning the ISS will be awaiting the moment when the Soyuz lands in Kazakhstan," he said. "This is the first time that a Japanese astronaut gets the position of a crew commander at the ISS."
The ship is now en route to the designated site of landing, which is located some 147 kilometers to the southeast of the city of Dzhezkazgan. At 06:30, when the ship is at the altitude of 360 kilometers above the Earth's surface, its engine is due to begin the braking, as a result of which it will de-orbit and will begin a controllable descent.
The parachute of the descent capsule will be ejected at the altitude of 11 kilometers. The ship is due to land at 07:24 Moscow Standard Time.
Thee cosmonauts to return to Earth from ISS Tuesday aboard Soyuz ship
Russia' state commission in charge of manned space flights has scheduled the landing of the Soyuz TMA-10M spaceship with three cosmonauts aboard for Tuesday, Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
First Japanese astronaut takes command of ISS
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata assumed command of the International Space Station on Sunday, the first Japanese national to oversee a manned space mission.
Wakata, 50, had been a space station flight engineer since he and two crewmates arrived on Nov. 7.
'I am humbled to assume the command of the space station,' Wakata said during a change-of-command ceremony broadcast on NASA Television.
Outgoing station commander Oleg Kotov, flight engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy, both from Russia, and NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins are due to depart the orbital outpost on Monday. Their replacements arrive on March 26.
Wakata's command marks just the third time the station is being overseen by a crewmember who is not from NASA or the Russian Space Agency, the two primary partners of the 15-nation project.
'I am very proud as a Japanese to be given this important command,' Wakata, speaking Japanese, said through a translator.
'I think that this reflects the real trust toward Japan and what Japan has achieved over the past years,' he said.
Voice of Russia, AFP, TASS, Reuters
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