Expedition 34 Crew Heads Home
Expedition 34 Soyuz Commander Oleg
Novitskiy (center) says goodbye to
the three station residents staying
behind moments before closing the
Credit: NASA TV
After performing a deorbit burn, the Soyuz will be on track for a scheduled 11:05 p.m. landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan, northeast of the remote town of Arkalyk, wrapping up 144 days in space for the three. The crew members bid farewell to one another and closed the hatches between the two spacecraft at 4:38 p.m.
NASA TV coverage of deorbit and landing begins at 9:45 p.m. and will continue until the crew is safely in the medical tent at the landing site.
› Watch NASA TV
The undocking marks the end of Expedition 34 and the start of Expedition 35 under the command of Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is scheduled to remain on the station with Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko until May. Ford ceremonially handed command of the station over to Hadfield on Wednesday. Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko arrived at the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft in December 2012.
Three members of the Expedition 34
crew pose for some photographs in
their Sokol suits in the Destiny lab.
Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko will remain aboard the orbiting complex as a three-person crew until the March 28 launch and docking of Expedition 35 Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy, Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin.
› Read more about Expedition 35