Two space hire fliers jacket adult 196-day flight

Leaving crewmate Peggy Whitson behind in circuit for an extended mission, a Russian cosmonaut and his French co-pilot undocked from a International Space Station early Friday, environment a theatre for a burning thrust to Earth and a alighting on a steppe of Kazakhstan to tighten out a 196-day mission.

Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy and European Space Agency wanderer Thomas Pesquet common a final turn of hugs and handshakes with Whitson, Expedition 52 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and wanderer Jack Fischer, boarded their packet boat and sealed a induce during 3:35 a.m. EDT (GMT-4).

“You guys take care,” Fischer called out a few moments earlier.

Two hours later, during 6:47 a.m., absolute springs kindly pushed a Soyuz divided from a station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module.

After relocating a protected stretch away, Novitskiy designed to manage an programmed four-minute 36-second de-orbit rocket banishment starting during 9:17 a.m. to delayed a booster by about 286 mph, usually adequate to dump a distant side of a circuit into a atmosphere.

If all goes well, a Soyuz MS-03 organisation cell will dump to a parachute-and-rocket-assisted touchdown 89 miles southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, during 10:10 a.m. (8:10 p.m. internal time), a initial alighting by a two-person Soyuz organisation given Mar 18, 2010, when wanderer Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Maxim Suraev came home.

As usual, Russian and European Space Agency liberation crews and moody surgeons were hire by to support a returning hire fliers as they start re-adjusting to gravity. Novitskiy’s sum time in space over dual missions will mount during 340 days while Pesquet will have logged 196 days aloft on his initial flight.

During their six-and-a-half months in space, a Soyuz MS-03 organisation finished 3,136 orbits covering 82.9 million miles. They helped acquire 5 visiting vehicles — 4 load ships and a organisation packet moody — and Pesquet participated in dual spacewalks totaling 12 hours and 32 minutes.

“We are, of course, going to skip Oleg and Thomas,” Whitson pronounced Thursday, choking behind tears. “They are well-developed astronauts in each clarity of a word. But mostly, we’re going to skip their clarity of amusement and camaraderie.”


Space hire commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, left, creates final preparations for undocking while Soyuz MS-03 commander Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet demeanour on from inside a induce of their packet craft.

Said Pesquet: “It was a good adventure. Just wish to contend for me and Oleg, we were unequivocally unapproachable to be partial of such a group and fly with Peggy. Peggy’s a legend, though she’s also positively unimaginable to work with or usually hang around with, live with in space.”

Whitson flew into space with Novitskiy and Pesquet final Nov. 17. She creatively approaching to come home with them, though in April, her goal was extended to Sept. 3.

“We’re a small bit unhappy to leave her behind, though we’re not staying!” Pesquet laughed during a change-of-command rite Thursday. “We know she’s in good hands. … Now is a time for us to go behind home to a friends and family, and we’re happy. But it’s also a bittersweet feeling since we know this is such a singular place that we infrequently get to knowledge usually once. It was fantastic, interjection to everybody.”

After initial medical checks and satellite phone calls to family and friends, Novitskiy and Pesquet will be flown by helicopter to a city of Karaganda for an central Kazakh acquire ceremony. Novitskiy afterwards will house a Russian jet for a moody behind to Star City nearby Moscow while Pesquet play and ESA aircraft and earnings to Cologne, Germany, for debriefing.

On Thursday, Whitson incited over authority of a hire to Yurchikhin.

“Today, we palm over (command) to Fyodor Yurchikhin, a usually man I’ve flown 3 times with,” she said. “So acquire to your command.”

“It’s an respect for me operative with you, Peggy,” pronounced Yurchikhin, vocalization in English. “We use your knowledge in space, your soul, your smarts. The biggest person, an extraordinary person. Sometimes, everybody says Peggy is ‘iron woman,’ ‘steel woman.’ She’s extraordinary woman, an extraordinary chairman in space. Thank we really much. So acquire on house to Expedition 52.”

Yurchikhin and Fischer took off aboard a Soyuz MS-04 booster on Apr 20. In a pierce to save income in a nearby term, a Russian sovereign space group opted not to embody a third organisation member. After negotiations with Russian space managers, NASA motionless to extend Whitson’s goal to Sept. 3 when she will take a accessible chair on a MS-04 booster and lapse to Earth with Yurchikhin and Fischer.

Keeping Whitson in space will capacitate additional investigate between a depart of Novitskiy and Pesquet and a attainment of Soyuz MS-05 commander Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and ESA wanderer Paolo Nespoli on Jul 28. It also preserves a choice for a two-person NASA spacewalk in an emergency.

Whitson is America’s many gifted wanderer with 573 days in space over 3 missions as of Friday. When she earnings to Earth Sept. 3, her accumulative time in space will mount during 666 days, relocating her adult to eighth in a world. Whitson is also No. 3 in a universe in sum spacewalk time with some-more than 60 hours of EVA time over 10 excursions.

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