The Russian Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts (Commander Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyayev, both Russian, and American Ron Garan) safely landed this morning in Kazakhstan, bringing them home after five months on the International Space Station. The landing, about 94 miles southeast of the smallish Kazakh city Zhezkazgan, wasn't entirely flawless--mission control lost contact with the capsule briefly--but the landing itself was very smooth.
Click to launch a gallery of the capsule's Kazakh landing.
Three astronauts remain on board the ISS: Russian Sergei Volkov, American Michael Fossum, and Japanese Satoshi Furukawa. All three are due to return to Earth on November 22nd, which, as we noted, may leave the ISS unmanned for the first time in a decade, as the preceding launch of three new astronauts has been repeatedly delayed.
Pretty sad that we have to car pool.
Live through Wisdom and Faith
At least human spaceflight still exist. A ride is a ride. So long as we can still manage to get there. Besides, these type of operations foster international cooperation. Kind of a small but meaningful step in the right direction.
It's pretty clear already that we need to develop our own ride. But in the mean time we have to get it how we can. Means relying on our neighbors.
When the last 3 astronauts leave the ISS in November and the ISS will be unmanned, I hope they remember to turn off the coffee pot.
wait the amazing part is they can land on land from space.... from what i understood the US can only land astronauts on water successfully unless i am mistaken...
The united states is perfectly capable of landing on land. That is what the space shuttle did (before it was scrapped). I'm not so sure if the new system they are designing will though.
Hey @ kamikazesmiley: The Americans can't set Apollo/Gemini style capsules down on dry land because the continental U.S. hasn't enough uninhabited land to do so.The Russians have millions of acres of sparsely populated land to do so.Even if a Soyez crashed through the roof of some sheepherder's hut,they probably wouldn't have to worry about getting sued.