Two crew members of the International Space Station are safely back on Earth after returning from tours of duty on the International Space Station.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Russia’s Roscosmos landed at 10:10 a.m. EDT (8:10 p.m. local time) June 2 in a remote section of Kazakhstan after a three-hour journey from the ISS.
The duo’s safe return aboard a Russian-built Soyuz began with a 6:47 a.m. EDT undocking of the spacecraft from the space station and concludes a six-month stay for each at the orbiting research lab. Their return leaves a three-person crew at the station for the next eight weeks until a new crew shuttle adds to their ranks as part of ISS Expedition 52.
Boeing and SpaceX hold NASA contracts to take over U.S. astronaut shuttles from Russia starting in late 2018 or 2019.
Photo: European Space Agency