After four and a half months in space, Roscosmos’ Soyuz MS-04 returned three spaceflight veterans to Earth – including one who has been on orbit far longer than the craft itself. Landing on the Kazakh steppes at 07:22 local time in Kazakhstan on Sunday, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson concluded an unplanned 288 day mission aboard the International Space Station, a mission which has seen her shatter records and accumulate a NASA-unparalleled 665 days in space.
Soyuz MS-04 undocking and landing:
Since launching to the International Space Station on 20 April 2017 with just two crewmembers, Soyuz MS-04 had remained docked to the orbital outpost for the last four and a half months.
Now, Soyuz MS-04 returned not two but three astronauts from the Station, with NASA astronaut Dr. Peggy Whitson joining fellow NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and former Station Commander and Soyuz MS-04 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin on their return trip to Earth.
Prior to the Soyuz’s departure, the customary exchange of command ceremony was held, during which Expedition 52 Commander Yurchikhin transferred command of the ISS to NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, who is just over one month into his first long-duration space mission (second overall mission).
Hatch closure between Soyuz ...