Soyuz With Three Crew Undocks and Expedition 45 Begins

International Space Station Configuration
International Space Station Configuration
The International Space Station configuration as of Sept. 11 when the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft undocked from the Zvezda service module.

The Soyuz TMA-16M carrying Expedition 44 crew member Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency undocked from the station at 5:29 p.m. EDT. Padalka spent 168 days aboard the International Space Station during Expeditions 43 and 44 and will complete 2,688 orbits of Earth. Mogensen and Aimbetov spent 10 days in space, eight of them aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Padalka is the commander at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft. They will perform a separation burn to increase the distance from the station before executing a 4-minute, 42-second deorbit burn at 7:59 p.m. The crew is scheduled to land at 8:51 p.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

The departure marks the end of Expedition 44. The Expedition 45 crew members remaining aboard to continue research and maintenance are Commander Scott Kelly of NASA, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko, Sergey Volkov, and Oleg Kononenko, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

NASA Television will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-16M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Here is the timeline for Expedition 44’s landing:

EDT                             EVENT

7:30 p.m.                   NASA TV: Expedition 44 Soyuz TMA-16M deorbit burn and landing coverage
7:59 p.m.                   Soyuz TMA-16M deorbit burn (4 minutes, 42 seconds duration)
8:26 p.m.                   Soyuz module separation (altitude 87 miles)
8:28 p.m.                   Soyuz atmospheric entry (altitude 62 miles)
8:37 p.m.                   Command to open parachute (6.7 miles)
8:51 p.m.                   Expedition 44 Soyuz TMA-16M landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

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