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ISS Trio safely Returns to Earth aboard Soyuz after Six-Month Flight (video)

May 14, 2014
Expedition 39 Soyuz TMA-11M Landing. Photo
Expedition 39 ships off. Video
Coverage of the Soyuz hatch closure. Video

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Three International Space Station crew members have safely returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-11M on Wednesday after a 188-day space flight. Mikhail Tyurin, Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata made a successful undocking from the Space Station late on Tuesday, setting sail for one and a half orbits of free flight ahead of the Deorbit Burn to set the stage for an on-time and on-target landing in south-central Kazakhstan.

Climbing into their Soyuz and closing the hatch at 19:26 UTC on Tuesday, the three crew members conducted leak checks before strapping themselves into their seats and preparing for undocking. Soyuz TMA-11M undocked from the Rassvet module at 22:36 UTC and departed the vicinity of ISS.

Enjoying 2.5 hours of free flight, the crew got ready for the deorbit burn that occurred at 1:04 UTC and put the Soyuz onto a course to intercept the atmosphere. Re-Entry was as expected and Soyuz made a parachute-assisted landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 1:58 UTC bringing home its three crew members who are returning from a memorable ISS mission.

Aboard the International Space Station, the three crew members supported a variety of operations –welcoming a number of visiting vehicles, responding to system problems with unexpected EVAs and conducting the scientific studies that are active throughout Expedition 39/40.