Three Expedition 46 crew members are finishing packing the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft for the ride home today, ending their record-setting mission. Three other space station residents will stay behind until June and wave farewell to their crewmates when they undock tonight.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are riding back to Earth with Soyuz Commander Sergey Volkov. The trio will undock at 8:02 p.m. EST today/1:02 a.m. UTC Wednesday and land in Kazakhstan at 11:25 p.m. NASA TV will begin live coverage at 4:15 p.m. as the crew enters the Soyuz spacecraft and closes the hatches.
Kelly and Kornienko will have lived in space continuously for 340 days when they land tonight for an International Space Station program record. Volkov will have been in orbit for 182 days.
After the crew parachutes to a landing Kelly will be greeted by NASA personnel and checked out by doctors before flying back to the United States and landing in Houston 24 hours later. Kelly will be monitored over the next few weeks and months as scientists learn how living in space affects the human body before NASA sends astronauts to an asteroid or Mars.
13 thoughts on “Today is Homecoming Day for a Record-Setting Crew”
CDR Kelly has seen 5,840 sun-rises in a year in space. Amazing job, well done Sir!
From all of us on earth, Thank You to all of you, including the folks on the ground, for your commitment to our exploration of space and your selflessness for your efforts to better the future of mankind all over our planet. All of you are true Heroes and I pray for a Safe Trip and Happy Landings!!!
Dan in North Carolina
Welcome back to Earth, sir. Thank you for your devotion to duty and desire to continue to go where no one has gone before. You make all of us very proud of you and your cremated. God bless you, Captain. Franco & Carol Hensley
Safe landing.You are the hope for us all.
I am so excited for these heroes to come home! We’ll be watching and praying! GodSpeed!
Safe travels home , Scott Kelly! We’re all so proud of you . . . what you and all the other unsung space heroes have accomplished is nothing short of incredible!! We plan on “watching” your trip home – praying for a safe and soft landing all the way!
Safe return for everybody first.cant wait for pictures.awesome job gentleman.
I wish them a safe journey back home.
Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. You coulda tweeted 1000 more pix. We love them & you Mr. Kelly! Please stay safe. Get you some pizza & beer in your belly. Many congrats on your success.XO
Safe journey! CDR Kelly gave us a year of interesting prospective and a collection of photos of our beautiful Earth. All the best as you return to life with your colleagues, loved ones and gravity.
Are the photos available for use by the public? Desert Dunes (Feb 26) and Ice (Feb 28) would look beautiful in very large prints on my walls if the digital files are available.
My father worked on the space program’s propulsion systems in the 1960s. We have come so far thanks to brave and accomplished scientists and adventurers. Thank you.
It’s been a joy learning all I have from such a wonderful crew. Thank you for everything. Just let them know at NASA that this world still has a lot more to learn about it and how we can make it a beautiful place. Then we won’t need an Earth 2. Welcome home.
I think I have enough space/earth backgrounds for my desktop, you may return to Earth! It is amazing the knock on affects of space travel! I am green with envy.
I watched the return to Earth with great interest and was so happy that all went well. Scott looked great and seems to be in excellent condition, unlike the younger Russian cosmonaut. Kelly made us proud as Americans. Continued good luck to him and all the NASA astronauts and scientists.