Three crewmembers will leave the International Space Station this Friday, September 11, NASA announced in a press release.
NASA Television will broadcast coverage of the departure and landing when they return to Earth.
Visiting crewmembers Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency and Andres Mogenson of the European Space Agency along with Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka will undock their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the ISS at 5:29 p.m. EDT. The three will land in Kazakhstan at 8:51 p.m. EDT.
NASA reports the following activities and TV coverage times (EDT) for the event:
- 1:45 p.m. — Farewell and hatch closure coverage (hatch closure scheduled for 2 p.m.)
- 5 p.m. — Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 5:29 p.m.)
- 7:30 p.m. — Deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn scheduled for 7:59 p.m., with landing at 8:51 p.m.)
- 10 p.m. — Video file of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
The return wraps up 10 days in space for the visiting Aimbetov and Mogenson, the pair arrived at the station on September 4 with Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos. Padalka spent 168 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan in March.
The astronauts delivered a new Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS, which will bring NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornenko of Roscosmos back to Earth when they wrap up their one-year mission next March. Volkov will return at the same time.
Padalka returns to Earth as a record breaker. The cosmonaut has logged 879 total days in space across a span of fight flights – two months longer than the previous record holder, Sergei Krikalev.
Last month, Kelly shared footage of the Northern Nights directly from ISS via his Twitter.