Tuesday, 01 November 2016 - 14:22
Soyuz capsule returns multinational astronaut crew to Earth
A Russian Soyuz capsule containing a joint US, Russian, and Japanese crew returned to Earth from the International Space Station, departing the station Sunday evening and landing in Kazakhstan several hours later.
The return journey for the three astronauts – station commander Anatoly Ivanishin, with the Russian space agency, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, and Takuya Onishi of Japan – took about three and a half hours from undocking until arrival, and concluded with a parachute landing.
"I'm kind of reluctant to close the hatch," said Mr. Ivanishin on Friday during a change-of-command ceremony, in which he handed the space station over to US astronaut Shane Kimbrough. "The time is very special here ... I didn't have time to know what's going on our planet, and maybe it's for the better. On the space station, you live in a very friendly, very good environment."