Headlines > News > Expedition 26 Returns Home

Expedition 26 Returns Home

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:57 am via: NASA
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Three Expedition 26 crew members are back on Earth. Commander Scott Kelly, Soyuz Commander Alexander Kaleri and Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka landed in the Soyuz TMA-01M at 3:53 a.m. EDT in Kazakhstan.

As Expedition 26 commander, Kelly ceremonially handed over command of the station to Flight Engineer Dmitry Kondratyev on Monday. Expedition 27 officially began and Kondratyev became station commander when the Expedition 26 trio undocked at 12:27 a.m. Remaining onboard the International Space Station with Kondratyev are Expedition 27 Flight Engineers Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli.

The home-bound crew members began their stay when they docked to the Poisk module aboard their Soyuz spacecraft on Oct. 9. The Expedition 27 crew members staying behind on the station arrived Dec. 17 when they docked to the Rassvet module aboard the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.

The launch of the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft with three new Expedition 27 flight engineers has been postponed as officials investigate electrical issues in the vehicle. Astronaut Ron Garan and cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev will become Expedition 27 flight engineers when they arrive at the station.

Meanwhile, Expedition 27’s work begins in earnest with the unpacking of Robonaut 2, a human-like robot that was delivered to the station by the STS-133 crew of space shuttle Discovery in February. Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, will teach engineers how dexterous robots behave in space and through upgrades and advancements could one day venture outside the station to help spacewalkers make repairs or additions to the station or perform scientific work.

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