Astronauts are coming from and going to the International Space Station which is in orbit around the earth. Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) returned to Earth after a 141-day mission aboard the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren has completed his ISS mission and has returned to the earth to meet friends and family. His was Expedition 45 and he is among three crew members who made a one way trip to the earth from aboard the ISS. It was a 141 day mission and Kjell’s spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan.
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Others returning alongside him include Oleg Kononenko from Russia and Kimiya Yui from Japan. Kononenko has spent approximately 533 days in space. The other two have spent 141 days aboard the ISS.
Expedition 45 crew members Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency settle into the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft that carried them safely back to Earth on Dec. 11, 2015 after their 141-day mission aboard the International Space Station. Credits: NASA
The crew observed the planet earth from the vantage point of the ISS. They also carried out experiments in physics, biology and molecular science. This was for the progress of knowledge and also served as a visible demo of new high tech equipment.
The ultimate goal is new human and robotic missions into the depths of space. Lindgren and Yui took part in the Veggie plant growth. This experiment led to the growth of fresh lettuce for consumption by the crew on board the ISS.
It is all part of the sustainable drive whereby a trip to Mars could have vegetables grown on board the vessel for the crew. NASA plans to go on longer routes into the expanse of the solar system.
Veggie could also serve as a recreational gardening tool kit in the astronauts’ repertoire. Three cargo missions also reached the ISS during the tenure of these three astronauts.
Lindgren undertook two spacewalks during his time spent on the ISS. The first time around it was for the upgrade and maintenance tasks. The second time was for the upkeep of the ammonia cooling system.
While three astronauts have landed safely on earth, three are on their way to the ISS, according to NASA. As Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui landed in Kazakhstan, rescue teams afforded them safe passage via helecopters.
They were indeed glad to be back. The three who are now bound for the ISS to replace these three include Tim Kopra, Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake.
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They are ready to head off for the frontiers of space. This way the astronauts don’t face burnout and ennui in outer space. They undergo rotation so that they may assuage their home sickness. But then maybe it should be called earth sickness instead.