One American and two Russian astronauts successfully landed after 167 days spent in orbit on the International Space Station. Space travelers smiled, despite the low temperature in Kazakhstan.
“I’m glad to be back,” said astronaut Barry Wilmore after he was pulled from the Soyuz spacecraft together with Russian crew members Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova. Wilmore smiled broadly and held up a thumb up at the tokens.
The Union landed on the cold steppes of Kazakhstan in Central Asia at approximately 8:07 am local time on Thursday, March 12th. The crew flew 71000000 miles for nearly six months spent on the space station.
"The landing site was shrouded in a thick layer of fog, reducing visibility. The temperature ranged from 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 6 degrees Celsius)," said NASA spokesman Rob Navias.
This was the first space mission for Serova. She became the fourth woman to go into outer space. “I want to greet all my relatives,” said Serova after landing. According to her, she feels great. She gave up and sent a kiss to the video cameras, after which some members of the team congratulated her on the recent international women's day.
Meanwhile, Samokutyaev just rested.
"I drink tea with real lemon," he said, sipping from a tin mug. "Great."
This mission was the second for Samokutyaev and Wilmore. In total, Samokutyaev spent 331, being in Earth orbit, while Wilmore only 178 days.
Serova, Samokutyaev and Wilmore left a post on the International Space Station to three other crew members: NASA astronaut Terry Wirtz, space pilot Anton Shkaplerov and astronaut of the European Space Agency Samantha Cristoforetti, who will be in ISS orbit until the end of this year.