ISS crew return to Earth on Russian spacecraft

James Marshall
June 5, 2018

The three men worked on a variety of scientific experiments during their time on the ISS.

Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, U.S. astronaut Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai feel well after spending 168 days in orbit, it said in a press release.

The ISS, one of the few examples of cooperation between Russian Federation and the United States, has been in orbit since 1998, orbiting at a speed of 28,000 km/hour. After it split into its three constituent parts, the descent module fell through the atmosphere at up to 500mph before its parachute was opened and it finally touched down in the Kazakhstan steppe at about 1.40pm United Kingdom time.

The three had been on the orbital laboratory since mid-December, with Shkaplerov, 46, serving as mission commander from February until he turned over command to American Drew Feustel on Saturday.

It was the eighth prolonged stay at the ISS by a Japanese astronaut, and Kanai is the seventh Japanese to complete such a mission.

All three were then seated in chairs with blankets over their legs, with the capsule - blackened by its fiery re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere - behind them. They were able to taste some space-grown lettuce which was being cultivated to test whether plants could be grown during spaceflight. Russia's piloted spacecraft Soyuz MS-09, which is scheduled to blast off this week to the International Space Station (ISS), has been installed on a launch pad at the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos announced on Monday.

Kanai is a former medical officer with Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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