NASA astronaut196-day stay
Two Russian astronauts and two Russian cosmonauts disengaged from the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Wednesday morning, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to end an unplanned 196-day mission.
This was the longest solo flight in the history of the United States space program.
Sergey Prokopyev, the commander of Soyuz MS-69/23S, observed the cockpit displays while co-pilot Dmitri Petelin and NASA flight engineer Frank Rubio were positioned on his left and right sides. The Russian spacecraft successfully disconnected from the space station’s Prichal module at 3:54:30 a.m. EDT.
The spacecraft retreated to a safe distance from the lab complex and waited for the exact position in space to initiate its descent. At 6:24 a.m., it activated its braking rockets for 4 minutes and 39 seconds, reducing its speed from 17,100 mph to approximately 286 mph.
Astronaut Frank Rubio breaks record for longest time in space by an American 04:48
Following initial medical examinations at the landing location, the Soyuz team was scheduled to be transported via helicopter to Karaganda city. From there, Rubio will take a NASA Gulfstream jet for the lengthy trip back to the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The cosmonauts will then travel to Star City near Moscow on a Russian jet.
Rubio and his fellow cosmonauts were scheduled to depart on September 21, 2022 with the intention of spending six months on the International Space Station, which is the standard length of a long-term mission.
return all their notifications and comments in English
However, a leaking coolant caused the Soyuz MS-22/68S ferry ship to malfunction in December, resulting in the Russians having to communicate all of their notifications and comments in English.
The Soyuz MS-23/69S mission took place in February. This resulted in Prokopyev, Petelin, and Rubio having to extend their time in orbit by six months in order to align with the Russian crew rotation schedule.
Rubio shared in an interview with The Associated Press from orbit that it was personally challenging for him to be away from his family and miss important moments, especially for his children.
“Birthdays, anniversaries, my son’s going to head off to college this year, my oldest daughter is finishing up her first year of college,” he added. “We’ve tried really hard to stay in touch with one another. … My wife, my kids, they’ve been troopers, and they’ve really handled it incredibly well.
Their handling of the situation has allowed me to concentrate on work and adapt to the circumstances more easily.
On Tuesday, there was a brief ceremony where ISS Expedition 69 commander Prokopyev transferred control of the lab to European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen.
Mogensen praised the departing crew members, commending them for their resilience, professionalism, and grace in handling unexpected challenges and uncertainty.
“It’s one experience to embark on a journey to space with the knowledge that you’ll be staying there for a year,” he remarked. “It’s an entirely different scenario for you and your loved ones to learn near the end of your six-month mission that you’ll be extending your stay for an extra six months. However, you bravely took on this responsibility and thrived.”
He expressed gratitude to Prokopyev, Petelin, and Rubio for their skills, commitment, and effort in maintaining the station in good condition and preparing for success during ISS Expedition 70.
Mogensen concluded by expressing the hope that the space station will be left in the same condition in which it was found. He emphasized the importance of all individuals being able to return home to their families.
October 14, 2021
On October 14, 2021, Soyuz MS-24/70S crew members Oleg Kononenko, Nicolai Chub, and Loral O’Hara joined the space station, replacing Prokopyev, Petelin, and Rubio..
Mogensen traveled by plane to the station.
On board a Crew Dragon spacecraft by SpaceX, there are NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.