Soyuz space capsule bring two from ISS safely back to earth

Posted By on March 18, 2010

soyuzspacecapsuletouchdown1Check out the great photo of a Russian space craft returning to earth this morning (click for larger). The two returning, one American and one Russian, have spent 5 months at the International space station and used the Soyuz TMA-16 capsule for their return ride; they landed in Kazakhstan as planned and coordinated by Russian Mission Control.

The 3-1/2 hours trip back to earth left the capsule charred from re-entry after firing its boosters and deploying a parachute in order to cushion the touchdown. According to Mission Control,  "The crew is safe and they are in a great mood." Rescue teams opened the hatch of the capsule and gave medical checks to Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev.

returningonsoyuz100318Currently there are still three men aboard the $100 billion, 16-nation ISS: U.S. Flight Engineer Timothy Creamer, Japanese Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi and Russian Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov. They will be joined in April by 4 new members: Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Korniyenko and U.S. astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and will again use a Soyuz spacecraft.

After the U.S. space agency NASA mothballs its shuttle fleet at the end of 2010, Russia will ferry all crews to the ISS aboard its single-use Soyuz spaceships – somewhat depressing.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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