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3 astrouts back on Earth after months in space

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

Washington, Feb 28: Three astrouts have landed safely in Kazakhstan on Wednesday after five-and-a-half-month of performing research and spacewalks in low-Earth orbit. The Soyuz spacecraft with SA astrouts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba, and cosmout Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos landed at 8.31 a.m. in Kazakhstan, SA said. The three were part of the Expedition 54 crew aboard the Intertiol Space Station (ISS).

Vande Hei ventured outside the space station on four spacewalks to perform work that included replacing and lubricating the Latching End Effectors on both ends of the Cadarm2. Acaba completed one spacewalk to lubricate an end effector and install new cameras on the station’s arm and truss. He now has accrued 306 days in space on three flights. Acaba and Vande Hei also participated in dozens of educatiol events while in space as part of SA’s Year of Education on Station.

Misurkin conducted one record-setting spacewalk with fellow cosmout Anton Shkaplerov to replace an electronics box for a high-gain communications anten on the Zvezda service module in February. The spacewalk timed out at eight hours and 13 minutes, the longest in Russian space programme history. Misurkin now has spent 334 days in space on two flights. Now operating the station are Expedition 55 crew members Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Scott Tingle of SA and Norishige Kai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Astrouts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of SA, and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch on March 21 and arrive at the space station two days later, returning the crew size to six, according to SA.(IANS)

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