By Mai Sobrevilla | Published: October 24, 2020
After living on board the International Space Station for six months, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, together with Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin, landed safely on Earth on Thursday in a Russian Soyuz capsule, landing south of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
On October 23, Cassidy uploaded on his twitter account (@Astro_SEAL) a photo of him with the caption “What a ride!”, showcasing relief upon his landing.
The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 7:32 p.m. EDT Wednesday and landed on Earth at 10:54 p.m. EDT (8:54 a.m. Kazakhstan time).
They will undergo medical checks at the landing site before they will be allowed to go home.
Cassidy will board a NASA plane back to Houston, Texas in the United States while Vagner and Ivanishin will fly home to Star City, Russia.
Out Of This World
Cassidy, Vagner and Ivanishin spent a total of 196 days living and working in the Earth’s orbit, having arrived at the space station last April 9.
During this latest mission, Cassidy served as commander of Expedition 63 and welcomed SpaceX Demo-2 crew members Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley of NASA.
Cassidy and Behnken completed four spacewalks, totaling 23 hours and 37 minutes, to upgrade station batteries. Both astronauts completed 10 spacewalks, making them two of only four US astronauts to accomplish it.
Cassidy now has spent a total of 378 days in space, making him the fifth highest among US astronauts.
With the departure of the trio, a new crew of Expedition 64 officially began on station with Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov serving as station commander and NASA’s Kate Rubins and Roscosmos’ Sergey Kud-Sverchkov serving as flight engineers.
Expedition 64 is scheduled to welcome NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 this coming November, with the station’s long duration crew expanding to seven people for the first time with the addition of NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi.