Moscow: The landing module of the Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft, carrying a Russian cosmonaut and two of his International Space Station (ISS) crewmates, touched down in Kazakhstan, media reported Monday.
“The capsule landed in the planned landing area, 82 km from the Kazakh city of Arkalyk,” according to the Moscow region-based Mission Control Centre.
A rescue service aircraft detected the signal from the landing module's transmitter.
Search and rescue groups then helped the international crew exit the capsule, the statement from the Mission Control Centre said.
The Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev, NASA astronaut Gregory Reid Wiseman and European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst on board had undocked from the ISS at 3.30 a.m. Moscow time.
Surayev was the first to be evacuated, followed by Gerst and Wiseman. “The crew feel okay,” an official statement said. Surayev, Wiseman and Gerst had worked in orbit for 165 days.
The landing capsule also brought back to earth “the space generation” of Drosophila flies, bred during zero gravity experiments.
Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova, as well as NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore, who became the ISS commander replacing Surayev, will continue to work on board the station.
A new crew will be launched to the ISS on board the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan Nov 24.
The crew will consist of Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, American Terry Virts and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.