Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut returned to Earth in the early hours of Wednesday, after serving a mission of more than five months aboard the International Space Station (ISS, by its initials in English).
Alexandre Misurkin, of the Russian space agency Roskomos, and Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, of NASA, landed at 8.31 local time (23.31 Tuesday in Argentina) in the Kazakh steppe, southeast of the city of Jezkazgan.
“The three crew members are well,” the authorities said after contacting the rescue teams. Misurkin, Vande Hei and Acaba were 168 days in space.
The 40-year-old Russian handed over the command of the international station to his compatriot Anton Shkaplerov on Tuesday, before taking command of the Soyuz spacecraft that brought the three men back to Earth. In two missions he spent 334 days in space.
At 50, Joe Acaba finished his third mission, which raised his account to about 10 months spent in orbit, while his 51-year-old companion, Mark Vande Hei, an ex-US Army excoronel, made his first mission in space .
Two astronauts and a cosmonaut returned to Earth after 168 days in space
The cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and the astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba rest after landing. (EFE)
To 15 years of the Columbia, the tragedy that changed the missions to the space
The two American astronauts were very active on Twitter during their stay in space. He just tweeted, for example, on Sunday a picture of his hands around the Earth from the observation module “Cupola”.
In their interventions in that social network, both astronauts published photos and videos of the work routine in space. And they did not deprive themselves of showing steps through hairdressing, mini-cinema sessions and even the New Year celebration. Yes, everything in space.
Of the two, the most restless was Termina. Son of Puerto Ricans, he fulfilled his promise on September 13: minutes before takeoff, he put Shakira’s music in the capsule. “My classmates do not go to sleep with this music and if they want to dance until three in the morning, they will love it,” he had anticipated.
The ISS, a project of more than 150,000 million dollars (139,907 million euros) involving 16 nations, currently consists of 14 permanent modules and orbits at a speed of more than 27,000 kilometers per hour at a distance of 400 kilometers from the earth.
A rare example of cooperation between Russia and the United States, it has been in orbit since 1998 and takes about an hour and a half to complete a return to Earth.
The three men had arrived together in September 2017. There they devoted themselves to scientific and research tasks, the results of which could be periodically monitored at the NASA site.
In aerospace, one of the agencies ‘objectives is to extend the time of the astronauts’ stay to face long-term missions in the solar system.
In order to improve the development of bioregenerative food production systems, experimentation with vegetable cultivation continued, which in the future will serve to enrich the diet of the crew.
“The investigation deepened the previous tests on the device, which will soon be used by the crew to grow cabbage, lettuce and other fresh vegetables in space,” the NASA portal said in one of the updates to the project.
The device, developed in 2014, is similar to a pad. In it, the plant automatically receives pre-established doses of water, fertilizers and calcined clay.
For now, the big challenge is to understand their response to microgravity and the perception of light (red, green and blue LED lamps are used).
Twitter Ads Another information and privacy of the topics investigated was the prevention of muscle atrophy in astronauts. For this, experimented with the use of drugs and physical exercise systems. The results will be useful to face long-term missions in space, as well as to combat muscular diseases on Earth. And Mars? “It will be very difficult, but getting there would be one of the great achievements of humanity, the strawberry of the dessert, not a single country will be able to do it, it will take the effort of all,” said Acaba, a few months ago, referring to the maxim aerospace fantasy.
Two astronauts and a cosmonaut returned to Earth after 168 days in space. The Soyuz MS-06 capsule prepares to land in Kazakhstan. (AP) Look also Six astronauts “lived” on Mars, without leaving the Earth In the case of Misurkin, his stay had an extra spice: he starred in the longest spacewalk in Russian history. Together with his companion Shkaplerov, they stayed for eight hours and 13 minutes when they performed electrical repairs on the Zvezda module.
Now the station was under the command of Shkaplerov and engineers Scott Tingle (NASA) and Norishige Kanai (Aerospace Exploration Agency). from Japan). Also watch Donald Trump allocates 10 billion dollars to get back on the MoonAstronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel (NASA) and Oleg Artemyev (Roskomos, Russian Federal Space Agency) will be sent to the Station on March 21, dated of arrival two days later. In this way, the crew will be six people again.
La Nasa ended its spacecraft program in 2011, but recently decided to increase its numbers on board the ISS. Meanwhile, the Russians announced last year that they would reduce theirs for budgetary reasons.