Friday, September 16, 2011

Space Station Crew Members Land Safely In Kazakhstan

Three International Space Station crew members safely returned to Earth Thursday, Sept. 15, wrapping up a six-month mission of research and exploration.

NASA's Ron Garan, Expedition 28 commander Andrey Borisenko and flight engineer Alexander Samokutyaev, both of the Russian Federal Space Agency, landed their Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 11:59 a.m. EDT (9:59 a.m. in Kazakhstan). The trio, which arrived at the station on April 6, had been scheduled to land on Sept. 8, but that was postponed because of the Aug. 24 loss of the Progress 44 cargo ship.

Before leaving the station, Borisenko handed over command to NASA's Mike Fossum, who leads Expedition 29. He and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa of Japan and Sergei Volkov of Russia are conducting research and maintenance aboard the station. The launch date for the remaining Expedition 29 crew members, NASA's Dan Burbank, and Russia's Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov, is under review.