On Sunday Oct. 30th this year, U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins of NASA, Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi landed in near Kazakhstan at 9:58 a.m. local time, or 11:58 p.m. EDT (0358 GMT).
Soyuz Space Capsule-the spacecraft carrying the astronauts launched to the Space Station on July 6th on a 115-day mission.
During their 115 days in space, the Expedition 49 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the world-class orbiting laboratory.
Rubins did two space walks during her mission, first on Aug. 19 and second on Sept 1. On the first one she and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams installed the first international docking adapter.
Outfitted with a host of sensors and systems, the adapter's main purpose is to provide a port for commercial spacecraft to bring astronauts to the station in the future. During Kate Rubins second spacewalk, She and Williams retracted a spare thermal control radiator and installed two new high-definition cameras.
Soyuz Space Capsule spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end which are
- the Orbital Module,
- the Descent Module and
- the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module.
The crew occupies the central element, which is the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned before re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returns to Earth.
After successfully completing their 155-day mission, their return to earth took less than 3.5 hours. (according to NASA )
Russian recovery crews arrived fast as the Soyuz Space Capsule landed on earth in order to assist the brave astronauts as they began re-adjusting to the unfamiliar pull of Earth's gravity and its weather.
The crew was greeted by an overcast sky and temperatures in the low 30s Fahrenheit (about 0-1 Celsius).
On arriving one recovery team member asked U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins of NASA
"What do you need right now,"
"To sit here and enjoy the Earth," Rubins replied. (according to space.com )