Space station crew lands in Kazakhstan

April 27th, 2012 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, April 27 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Soyuz re-entry capsule with three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) landed safely in Kazakhstan Friday, the Russian mission control centre said.

The re-entry capsule was found near the estimated landing point. Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin and NASA astronaut Dan Burbank were evacuated from the capsule.

“The crew felt well during the re-entry and landing, the cosmonauts are in good mood, weather conditions in the landing point in Kazakhstan are normal,” said a spokesman for Rosaviatsiya, also known as the Federal Agency for Air Transport.

Three planes, 14 helicopters and seven rescue vehicles were deployed to ensure a quick search and recovery of the returning crew.

While in orbit, the crew performed one space walk, docked and undocked spacecraft Progress M-14M, Progress M-15M, Soyuz TMA-03M and Europe’s ATV-3 resupply spacecraft.

They also accomplished an extensive scientific programme, conducting 40 experiments.

Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Burbank were scheduled to return to Earth on board the Soyuz TMA-22 March 16, but the delayed launch of the Soyuz-TMA-04M with the next ISS expedition set back the return date.

The next expedition to the ISS will comprise Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba. The expected launch date is May 15.

The new members of the ISS crew will join NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, who arrived at the ISS in December to spend 147 days at the orbital station.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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