Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko landed on Earth at 12:35 a.m. EDT Sunday, October 17 in Kazakhstan (10:35 a.m. Kazakhstan time), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft at 9:14 p.m.
Novitskiy arrived to the space station April 9 and returns to Earth after 191 days in space on his third mission that spanned 3,056 orbits of Earth and 80.9 million miles. During the mission, he completed three spacewalks totaling 22 hours, 38 minutes. He has now logged 531 days in space on his three flights.
Peresild and Shipenko arrived at the station Oct. 5 as spaceflight participants for 12 days of filming their movie, “Challenge,” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities.
The trio will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, before boarding a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft to return to their training base in Star City, Russia.
Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 66 with station commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), 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.
Later this month, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 members – NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer – will join the Expedition 66 members aboard the station. Crew-3 will be the third long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, continuing to provide the capability of regularly launching humans from American soil.
In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth. To date, 246 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.