68ºF

American astronaut, Russian cosmonauts return to Earth

Crew landed at 10:55 p.m. ET

(From left) Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner.
(From left) Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. (WKMG 2020)

***11:33 p.m. 10/21/2020***

A trio of space travelers has safely returned to Earth after a six-month mission on the International Space Station

***ORIGINAL***

One American and two Russian space explorers will depart their temporary home on the International Space Station Wednesday evening and journey back to Earth in a spacecraft, landing in Kazakhstan.

After spending 195 days in space, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will depart the ISS in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft just after 7:30 p.m. ET.

While on board the space station the three crew members conducted dozens of science experiments, were there when SpaceX successfully delivered and returned home two NASA astronauts and deployed small satellites into orbit.

The hatch closed earlier in the day after Cassidy handed over command of the space station to Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov. NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov also remain on the ISS.

The trip back to their home planet won’t take long, the spacecraft is scheduled to land at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just before 11 p.m. ET.

NASA will air the undocking and landing beginning at 9:30 p.m. on NASA TV and at NASA.gov.

The three remaining astronauts will soon be joined by four more sometime in November when SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center carrying three Americans and a Japanese astronaut to the ISS in the Dragon spaceship. This will mark the second crewed flight for the private U.S. company since the return to human spaceflight from Florida earlier this summer.

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