Space Station's Expedition 49 safely returns to Earth

Posted November 01, 2016

According to the CBC, the capsule landed near Dzhezkazgan on the treeless Central Asian steppes. Russian mission control confirmed as NASA TV noted that the Soyuz craft had landed in an upright position.

The Soyuz descending to the ground above Kazakhstan. Video from the landing location on NASA television showed Rubins beaming after she was raised out last from the Russian descent vehicle.

Their missions also included the first use of a DNA sequencer in space and the installation of a docking port for future commercial space taxis.

As the MS-01 departed the station's Russian segment, Ivanishin, the Soyuz commander, took manual control of the automated Soyuz transport briefly for a test of the pilot commanded thruster control system. These new biological studies on the ISS, specifically DNA sequencing, could allow astronauts to diagnose illness or even identify potential health threats in microbes growing onboard.

By that time, Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong are expected to wrap up their 30-day mission aboard China's Tiangong 2 space lab and return to Earth in their Shenzhou 11 spacecraft. They are scheduled to be joined in mid-November by NASA's Peggy Whitson, the European Space Agency's Thomas Pesquet and cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky.

Rubins, Ivanishin and Onishi left the station in the hands of three other crewmembers that should live and work aboard the huge laboratory for months before coming home in the same way as those before them.

The capsule landed on Dzhezkazgan, Kazakthstan brining three astronauts from United States, Japan and Russian Federation home.

Onishi is the sixth Japanese astronaut to visit the ISS for a long-term stay. Ivanishin now has 280 days in space during two flights.

Russians Serguei Rizhikov and Andrei Borisenko and American Shane Kimbrough, who arrived on the ISS on October 21, are still aboard the space platform.

Technical mishaps have complicated plans to extend the periods during which the ISS is fully staffed with six astronauts.

Broadcasts from the International Space Station (ISS) more often than not come from a fixed location aboard the orbiting satellite, with the astronauts usually the center of attention.