ESA - Futura Mission patch.
8 June 2015
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will return to Earth on 11 June, along with NASA astronaut Terry Virts and Soyuz commander Anton Shkaplerov, having spent 200 days in space on the International Space Station.
The three astronauts will close the hatch to their Soyuz spacecraft at around 06:55 GMT. Once they leave the Station their return flight will take just over 200 minutes. Their expected landing time in the Kazakh steppe is 13:54 GMT.
Samantha, Terry and Anton
Samantha has set a new duration record for a single mission for ESA astronauts, Italian astronauts and all female astronauts. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams spent 195 days spent in space in 2007; Samantha’s Futura mission will end up beating that stay by five days.
Samantha’s Futura mission was extended following an unexpected delay after Russia’s Progress 59 freighter failed to arrive at the Station.
The extra weeks spent in space were a busy time for the astronauts living on the Space Station: Samantha installed a new water pump in Europe’s space laboratory Columbus, helped move a complete module to another location and upgraded a video recording system.
Samantha, Anton and Terry will leave behind NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka to look after the Station and run experiments. Scott and Mikhail are around a third of the way through their almost one-year stay in space. Three new astronauts will arrive shortly.
NASA Television to Air Return of Three Space Station Crew Members
Coverage begins at 10:40 a.m. EDT Wednesday, June 10, when Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts of NASA hands over command of the space station to cosmonaut Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).
At 6:20 a.m. the following day, Virts and Flight Engineers Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) and Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station and land in Kazakhstan at 9:43 a.m. (7:43 p.m. Kazakh time).
NASA Television will broadcast departure and landing activities at the following times:
Wednesday, June 10
10:40 a.m. - Change of command ceremony in which Virts hands over station command to Padalka
Thursday, June 11
2:30 a.m. - Farewell and hatch closure coverage (hatch closure scheduled for 2:55 a.m.)
6 a.m. - Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled at 6:20 a.m.)
8:30 a.m. - Deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn scheduled at 8:51 a.m., with landing at 9:43 a.m.)
noon. - Video File of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
10 p.m. - Video File of landing and post-landing activities and post-landing interviews with Virts and Cristoforetti in Kazakhstan
For the NASA TV schedule and coordinate information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
Follow Samantha’s journey first hand with her personal logbook and image galleries via http://samanthacristoforetti.esa.int.
Futura mission: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Futura
Samantha Cristoforetti: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Futura/Samantha_Cristoforetti
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana: http://www.asi.it/
Where is the International Space Station?: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/International_Space_Station/Where_is_the_International_Space_Station
Images, Text, Credits: ESA/NASA.