March 12, 2015

Today on March 18 ISS-41/42 crew comprising Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyayev and Elena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore successfully returned to the Earth onboard Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft after half a year space mission. Descent module landed 147 km to the southeast of  Zhezkazgan town (Kazakhstan)  at 05.14, Moscow time.

Anton Shkaplerov (Roscosmos), Terry Virts (NASA) and Samantha Christoforetti go onworking on the orbit waiting for the next crew to arrive.

Soyuz TMA-14M was launched from Baikonur spaceport with the help of Soyuz-FG booster on September 26, 2014. Total duration of ISS-41/42 crew spaceflight amounts to 167 days.

For Alexander Samokutyayev it was the second flight. His first mission lasted for 164 days taking place from April to September 2011 (Soyuz TMA-21 commander, ISS-27/28 flight engineer)

During this flight Alexander Samokutyayev performed a spacewalk lasting for 6 hours and 23 minutes. After this flight in 2012 he was awarded a Hero of Russia. Now total duration of Alexander Samokutyayev’s work in space amounts to 331 days, and time spent in the open space – 10 hours and 4 minutes.

Elena Serova started her space career with this flight.  Elena is the 4th woman-cosmonaut in the history of Russian cosmonautics and the first Russian woman onboard the ISS. It took her 8 years to put her dream into life: in December 2006 she was enlisted in RSC Energia cosmonaut corps  as cosmonaut candidate.

In the course of the flight Alexander Samokutyayev and Elena Serova were conducting 50 scientific experiments and also accomplishing ISS maintenance works, etc.

Besides in accordance with the ISS flight schedule the cosmonauts also accomplished works with various cargo vehicles: Pogress M-24M, progress M-25M, Progress M-26M, ATV-5 «Georges Lemaitre» European cargo vehicle, helped preparing ISS-40/41 crew for the landing, took part in docking control operations and performed spacewalks in accordance with Russian program.

In several weeks on March 27, 2015 Soyuz TMa-16M with new ISS crew onboard will be launched from Baikonur.

Photo credit: NASA

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