After a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 27 commander Dmitry Kondratyev and flight engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli safely landed their Soyuz spacecraft on the Kazakhstan steppe Monday, reports said.
The trio landed at 10:27 p.m. (8:27 a.m. on May 24 local time) at a site, located at the southeast corner of the town of Dzhezkazgan, said a press release from NASA. Kondratyev, the Soyuz commander, was at the controls of the spacecraft as it undocked at 5:35 p.m. EDT from the station's Rassvet module, said the report.
It was Paolo Nespoli, who took the first still images and video of a space shuttle docked to the station when the Soyuz was 600 feet away.
The Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft was launched on December 15, 2010 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They spent 159 days in space, 157 of them aboard the station. With three space flights experiences, Coleman has logged 179 days in space, while Nespoli has experienced 174 days in space on two flights. For Kondratyev, it was his first space mission.
Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Flight Engineers Ron Garan of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev remain aboard the station, said the release.
The release further said that Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft will be launched at 3:15 p.m. on June 7 (2:15 a.m. Baikonur time June 8) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Three new Expedition 28 crew members - Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov, NASA Flight Engineer Mike Fossum and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa will board the spacecraft.