NASA astronaut and 2 Russian cosmonauts return to Earth
Currently, 534 days is the longest time a NASA's astronaut has managed to stay in orbit. "The Soyuz was pulled by its main parachute onto its side, but the crew was quickly extracted and are in good shape". Expedition 49/50 marked the second space missions for both Kimbrough and Ryzhikov.
Whitson, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy are still onboard the ISS. There are thirteen Russians who have spent more time in space.
On Sunday, commander Kimbrough officially ceded control of ISS to his American compatriot Peggy Whitson, who will soon become the most experienced USA astronaut in terms of time spent in space. She also became the oldest woman to fly in space when she launched on this mission.
"She'll set another record at this moment", said Kimbrough during the change of command ceremony. In addition to her commanding achievements, Whitson holds the record for cumulative spacewalking time of any female astronaut.
For Whitson, 57, it was her second stint in charge of the US$100 billion (RM443 billion) station, a multinational project overseen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
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With the command swap, Kimbrough and the rest of the crew are all set to make the trip back to Earth tomorrow. If that spacewalk goes as planned, it should put her in third place for the most spacewalking time, behind retired astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria's 67 hours, 40 minutes.
Soyuz MS-02 crew patch.
Kimbrough and his crewmates traveled 73.2 million miles while in space.
A US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts made a parachute landing in Kazakhstan on Monday, wrapping up a almost six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed. 'We get the ability up here to interact with things that actually benefit all of humanity. "It is really humbling for one, but very neat and special to be a part of something like that", said Kimbrough.
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