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Three ISS Crew Members Return to Earth Tonight (EST) -- Update

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 18-Nov-2012
Updated: 19-Nov-2012 10:39 AM

Update, November 18, 9:10 pm EST:  The crew landed three minutes later than scheduled because the spacecraft overshot the landing site due to a mistimed parachute deployment.  Official landing time according to NASA TV was 7:56 am Monday local time (8:56 pm Sunday EST), about an hour before sunrise.  The recovery team was able to reposition itself quickly so it could extract the crew promptly in the "frigid" weather at the landing site.

Editor's Note: November 19:  Bob Christy at zarya.info says that NASA TV was incorrect and the landing time was only 50 seconds later than planned and the landing site just 2 kilometers away from the planned point.

Soyuz TMA-05M with three International Space Station (ISS) crew members is returning to Earth tonight, Eastern Standard Time (EST).  NASA's Suni Williams, Japan's Aki Hoshide, and Russia's Yuri Malenchenko are coming home.

All times in this article are expressed in EST.   Times stated by NASA for this event are in Central Standard Time (CST), an hour behind EST.  The local time in Kazakhstan, where the spacecraft lands, is 12 hours ahead of CST. 

Undocking took place on time at 5:26 pm EST (4:26 pm CST/4:26 am Monday in Kazakhstan).  Event times for the rest of the journey are:

  • Soyuz deorbit burn begins -- 7:58 EST
  • Soyuz deoribt burn complete -- 8:03 pm EST
  • Soyuz module separation -- 8:26 pm EST
  • Atmospheric entry -- 8:29 pm EST
  • Parachute open command -- 8:38 pm EST
  • Landing -- 8:53 pm EST

The local time in Kazakhstan at landing, 7:53 am, is about one hour before sunrise.

Weather at the landing site is "bitter" according to the announcer on NASA TV, with a temperature of about 14 degrees Fahrenheit and wind chill of about zero degrees F.  It has been snowing there, but stopped for now.  NASA released this photo of the landing site earlier.

 Source:  NASA Johnson Space Center


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