The Soyuz spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station at 9:14 p.m. EDT, carrying three people back to Earth. Live coverage on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will resume at 11:15 p.m. for the deorbit burn and landing of the spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko at 12:36 a.m. (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, October 17.
Expedition 66 officially began aboard the station at the time of undocking. Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) is the station commander for the crew consisting of NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.
A potential benefit to this extension is NASA gaining deeper insight into how the human body adapts to life in microgravity for longer periods of time. This research helps prepare for Artemis missions to the Moon and eventually long-duration missions to Mars, as well as provides critical opportunities for additional research to be conducted aboard the station that can benefit life on Earth.
Peresild and Shipenko have spent 12 days aboard station as spaceflight participants to film their movie, “Challenge.” They arrived at the station Oct. 5 aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with Shkaplerov.