Astronauts Swap Command Before Monday Homecoming

Expedition 50 Change of Command Ceremony
Astronaut Shane Kimbrough (far left) handed over station command Sunday morning to Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson (far right). In between (from left) are Flight Engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who are returning to Earth Monday with Kimbrough, and Flight Engineers Thomas Pesquet and Oleg Novitskiy, who are staying in space with Whitson. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, and his crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, are scheduled to return to Earth on Monday, April 10 at 7:21 a.m. EDT (5:21 p.m. Kazakhstan time). The trio will land in their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

Hatch closure is scheduled for 12:40 a.m. tomorrow. NASA Television coverage will begin at 12:15 a.m.

Together, the Expedition 50 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science during their 171-day stay aboard the orbiting laboratory. In all, the departing trio will have spent 173 days in space since their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Oct. 19 last year.

Earlier today, Kimbrough handed over the command of station to NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson. When the spacecraft undocks from station tomorrow, Expedition 51 will formally begin.

NASA Television coverage of Soyuz activities April 10 are listed below. Watch live on NASA’s website.

Timeline and NASA TV Coverage

Time (EDT)   Event

12:15 a.m.     NASA TV Coverage of Exp. 50 Farewell and Hatch Closure Begins
12:40 a.m.     Soyuz MS-02/Space Station Hatch Closure
3:30 a.m.       NASA TV Coverage of Soyuz Undocking Begins
3:56 a.m.       Soyuz Undock Command Sent
3:57 a.m.       Soyuz Undocking from International Space Station
4 a.m.            Separation Burn 1
4:01 a.m.       Separation Burn 2
6 a.m.            NASA TV Coverage of Deorbit Burn and Landing
6:28 a.m.       Soyuz Deorbit Burn (4 minutes, 38 seconds duration)
6:55 a.m.       Soyuz Module Separation (altitude ~87 miles)
6:58 a.m.       Soyuz Atmospheric Entry (altitude ~62 miles)
7:06 a.m.       Command to Open Chutes (altitude 6.7 miles)
7:21 a.m.       Exp. 50 Soyuz MS-02 Landing southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

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One thought on “Astronauts Swap Command Before Monday Homecoming”

  1. Thank you for all the wonderful applications of science for planet Earth! Thank you for having the bravery to travel so far, and the knowledge and confidence in your entire team, to make such an incredible journey. It is such skilled interdependence that brings the greatest ideas to light, and the capacity for progress to fruition. The world would not be the same without your scientific tools and vigilant eyes above our beautiful planet. Thank you for all that you do!

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