In Kazakhstan, the crew returning from the ISS landed on the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft. Anton Shkaplerov, Pyotr Dubrov and American Mark Vande Hei completed their stay at the station.
Vande Hai and Dubrov entered orbit on April 9, 2021 – they remained on the station for 355 days. With this flight, Vande Hai broke the record for the longest continuous stay in space for American astronauts, which was previously 340 days. For him, this mission was the second, he spent a total of 523 days in space. Shkaplerov had flown into orbit three times before, and Dubrov had spent 708 days in space for the first time, including this mission.
In anticipation of the spacecraft’s departure from the ISS, Shkaplerov handed over command of the station to the American Tom Marshburn.
After the spacecraft left the station at 10:21 am, Dubrov first imaged the Russian section of the ISS in its final configuration with the Nauka module attached. Then, at about 13:30, the ship’s engines were started for the braking maneuver and half an hour later the house and tool-aggregate compartments were separated from the descending vehicle. They burned in the dense layers of the atmosphere, and the ship sank about 140 kilometers southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan.
It is impossible to predict the exact landing site, so at first the ship was found using helicopters, and only then technical specialists and doctors were sent to the discovered landing point.
This landing comes against the backdrop of an unprecedented worsening of relations between Russia and Western countries due to a special operation in Ukraine. Serious sanctions were introduced, in particular, planes from Russia were banned from flying to the United States and many European countries, Russia took mirror measures. The Golfstream plane that Vande Hei will fly to the USA will also have to change course.
“Contrary to past similar flashbacks, NASA aircraft will have to fly in Russian airspace,” writes Nasaspaceflight.com. Vande Hai will be in Houston 24 hours after landing.
However, members of the crew of the ISS are trying to distance themselves from conflicts on Earth and maintain good relations with representatives of other countries.
“People around the world are facing problems. In space, we are a team,
He spoke with humor about the Russian satellite Kosmos-1408, the wreckage of which, according to many astronomers, fell. threatening ISS. “Unfortunately, we had a few emergencies, but not too dangerous. It was like some space satellite was trying to kill us, but we worked together,” he said.
During the descent, the capsule fell not vertically, but on the side. This created an inconvenience to the ground crew, but did not pose any danger. First, Shkaplerov was dragged out of the ship, and tea spilled from a thermos. When someone asked if tea was tastier on Earth, the astronaut replied: “Yes. Native lands are warming up.
Dubrov and Vande Hay also left the capsule happily and without any problems. Immediately after landing, the American astronaut donned a baseball cap and a protective respirator from the bright Sun, where the eyes got used to. It seems that NASA still has a mask regime introduced in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The next manned space flight to the ISS is scheduled for early April. Meanwhile, a crew of four under the command of American Michael Lopez-Alegria will set out on the SpaceX Crew Dragon ship Elon Musk. The flight will be carried out under a contract with the private company Axiom Space.