NASA Astronaut Wilmore, Russian Cosmonauts Samokutyaev and Serova are back on Earth after a stint in the International Space Station which lasted for about six months. Expedition 42 Cosmonaut Elena Serova (L) of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos); Alexander Samokutyaev of Roscosmos (C); and NASA Astronaut Barry Wilmore (R) of NASA returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft which landed in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 12, 2015.The team served as members of the Expedition 41 and 42.
The crew included Yelena Serova who happens to be the first female cosmonaut who along with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev and American astronaut Barry Wilmore on Thursday returned to their home aboard a Soyuz space capsule after spending almost six months at the ISS. The Soyuz spacecraft landed in snowy Kazakhstan just after sunrise.
In spite of seething differences between the US and Russia over the latter’s action in Ukraine, the ISS is one place where the two powers are actively cooperating. The six months since the crew has been orbiting the Earth on the ISS, relation between the two powers have been steadily deteriorating over the conflict in east Ukraine. However, the space cooperation between the two powers have been smooth and without any instances of acrimony.
NASA commentator Rob Navias on the US space agency’s live broadcast of the event said “The Expedition 42 crew is back on Earth. They have landed in a vertical position, upright.”
The space craft landed in a remote steppe southeast of Dzhezkazgan and were picked up by Russian search and recovery units
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos in a statement,also confirmed that the crew had “successfully returned to Earth. The piloted descent craft completed its landing at 05:14 Moscow Time (0214 GMT),”
The three space travelers had left Earth on September 26th and spent 167 days in space and travelled more than 70 million miles (112 million kilometers).
The space industry in Russia is looked after by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who informed that the crew is in good health.
Rogozin wrote on Twitter, “Everything is in order. The crew has been retrieved from the capsule. They’re feeling good. Serova is best off in terms of blood pressure.”