After spending 199 days aboard the International Space Station, Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov undocked from the station at 6:20 a.m. EDT to begin their voyage home. Shkaplerov, the Soyuz commander, is at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft.
They will perform a separation burn to increase the distance from the station before executing a 4-minute, 35-second deorbit burn at 8:51 a.m. The crew is scheduled to land at 9:43 a.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
The departure of Virts, Cristoforetti and Shkaplerov marks the end of Expedition 43. The Expedition 44 crew members, Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will continue research and maintenance aboard the station and will be joined next month by three additional crew members, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
NASA Television will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-15M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 8:30 a.m. at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
Here is the timeline for Expedition 43’s landing.
Thursday, June 11
8:30 a.m. NASA TV: Expedition 4 Soyuz TMA-15M deorbit burn and landing
8:51 a.m. Soyuz TMA-15M deorbit burn (4 minutes, 35 seconds duration)
9:55 a.m. Soyuz deorbit burn complete
9:18 a.m. Soyuz module separation (altitude 87 miles)
9:20 a.m. Soyuz atmospheric entry (altitude 62 miles)
9:23 a.m. Command to open parachute (6.5 miles)
9:43 a.m. Expedition 43 Soyuz TMA-14M landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan