International Space Station crew returns to Earth in hard landing, crew reported to be safe

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Oct 05 2018
International Space Station crew returns to Earth in hard landing, crew reported to be safe
HIGHLIGHTS

The Soyuz MS-08 capsule carrying three astronauts and experiment samples from the International Space Station landed this morning in Kazakhstan

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The Soyuz MS-08 made its return journey home carrying three crew members from the International Space Station, landing safely in Kazakhstan on Thursday. The landing, however, was not a routine landing, and the spacecraft had to fire its thrusters at the last minute to slow down the impact of the capsule on the ground. The landing is being termed as the equivalent of a “minor traffic accident,” although the crew was unhurt.

The return capsule Soyuz MS-08 was carrying three passengers; NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The three have collectively completed 197 days in space during which they completed hundreds of experiments. One of the main highlights of the experiments was an investigation to study ultra-cold quantum gases using the first commercial European facility for microgravity research, and a system that uses surface forces to accomplish liquid-liquid separation.

Feustel and Arnold conducted three spacewalks in their time at the International Space Station to perform maintenance and upgrades, which included replacing and upgrading external cameras, replacing components of the space station’s cooling system and communications network. They also installed new wireless communication antennas for external experiments.

As of now, NASA has not stated why the landing of the Soyuz MS-08 was a tricky one, where the thrusters were engaged last minute to slow the shuttle down. Once recovery crew had breached the shuttle, the three astronauts were recovered, who signalled they were okay despite the rough landing.

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