Last Full Day in Space for Expedition 43 as Station Changes Command

Expedition 43 Change of Command Ceremony
Expedition 43 Change of Command Ceremony
Astronaut Terry Virts (left foreground) ceremoniously hands over command of the International Space Station to cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (right foreground). Credit: NASA TV

Three Expedition 43 crew members are busy preparing for their homecoming during their last full day in space. Commander Terry Virts ceremoniously handed over control of the International Space Station this morning to veteran cosmonaut Gennady Padalka.

Virts and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti will end their stay tomorrow at 6:20 a.m. EDT when they undock from the Rassvet module. The trio in their Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft will parachute to a landing in Kazakhstan at 9:43 a.m. after 199 days in space. NASA TV will cover the undocking and landing activities live.

Science, the main purpose of the space station, is still ongoing today as One-Year crew member Scott Kelly collected his urine and saliva samples for the Twins study. Scientists are comparing his body in weightlessness with his Earth-bound identical twin brother and ex-astronaut Mark Kelly.

Thrusters on a Soyuz spacecraft inadvertently fired Tuesday morning momentarily changing the station’s orientation. Russian flight controllers quickly corrected the situation and the crew was never in any danger nor is there any impact on the Expedition 43 undocking Thursday morning.

Astronaut Scott Kelly
Astronaut and One-Year crew member Scott Kelly talks to the press Wednesday morning from the Quest joint airlock. Credit: NASA TV

6 thoughts on “Last Full Day in Space for Expedition 43 as Station Changes Command”

  1. Hey ya alllll
    Just want to say a HUGE thank you to the ISS astronauts and all of the NASA support teams for your dedication unparalleled dedication. I’m 65 now but had the honor to work as a contractor and journalist throughout the entire Shuttle program and subsequently the building of ISS. I even participated in the shower program at LBJ Center, Houston but never could get use to vacuuming off. Did the shower ever get to ISS. And I hope the shampoo got better, or no one has the thick curly hair I do. Nothing like having itcy hair all day in space.

    Also, has anyone ever figured out how to listen to the radio waves and star sounds real time to hear the symphony of the universe. How cool would that be.

    Anyway, just wanted to shout out to everyone a big thank you and support to Mr. Kelly willing to spend a year in space, and to his brother for support and willing to get poked for science.

    Love you all and miss Clear Lake……
    Best regards
    Kelly Phillips

  2. Tremendous work by nasa astronauts and Russian cosmonauts.best of luck to all the astronauts staying at the iss and bon voyage to the astronauts coming on earth.Have a soft and pleasant touchdown.

  3. Congratulations for your excellent work in Space, Terry, Anton and Samantha have a safe trip home and a smooth re-adaptation to Earth’s gravity; Scott, Mikhail and Gennady all the best for the continuation of your activity in Orbit. Take care ad God bless you all.

  4. I’ve been following them from the beginning of the mission in space. Especially Sam Cristoforetti in twitter. Welcome Earth! You are awesome!!!!!!

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